Asking Price Too High for Trades
While Miguel Tejada was crossed off the Angels’ wish list over the weekend, Alfonso Soriano remained on it, circled, underlined and hotly pursued right up until Monday’s 1 p.m. PDT trading deadline, according to sources.
A number of names were discussed at various points in proposed deals with the Washington Nationals for Soriano, but the Angels’ final offer was believed to be triple-A shortstop Erick Aybar, either double-A pitcher Jose Arredondo or Class-A pitcher Tommy Mendoza, and either outfielder Reggie Willits or Tommy Murphy.
The Nationals originally asked for one of the Angels’ top young pitchers, Ervin Santana or Jered Weaver, and one of their top two position prospects, Howie Kendrick or Brandon Wood, but were quickly rejected.
The Angels, according to a source, wouldn’t have traded the hot-hitting Kendrick straight up for Soriano.
The Angels were willing to trade left-hander Joe Saunders at one point, but with Bartolo Colon returning to the disabled list Sunday and Saunders recalled to start against the Oakland A’s tonight, the Angels were more reluctant to part with the left-hander.
The Nationals also asked for Class-A right-hander Nick Adenhart, a hard-throwing 19-year-old thought to have the most upside of any pitcher in the Angels’ organization, but the team, thin on high-end pitching prospects, did not want to part with him.
The Tejada deal fizzled when the Baltimore Orioles rejected the Angels’ offer of Santana and Aybar, and Tejada said he had no interest in moving from shortstop to third base, the position where the Angels hoped to play him.
General Manager Bill Stoneman and Manager Mike Scioscia both vigorously defended the Angels’ lack of activity in the trading market.
“We are where we are at because of our pitching,” Stoneman said. “We really didn’t want to hurt our pitching for the sake of another bat. It’s disappointing that we didn’t do what we set out to do [improve the offense], but it was not worth the cost.
“This is not about making deals or not making deals. This is about winning games.”
Said Scioscia, “If we could have made a deal for a big bat by dealing only minor league prospects, my feeling is that Bill would have made that deal.”
The Texas Rangers showed serious interest in Tejada over the weekend, and the A’s were believed to have made a run at Soriano on Monday.
There was a sense among some in the Angels’ front office that Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden tried to get the A’s involved in an effort to perk up the Angels’ offer, but the Angels didn’t budge.
Second baseman Adam Kennedy, mentioned in trade rumors, is content with the Angels’ decision to maintain the status quo. And not only, he said, because it means he remains in Anaheim.
Being traded “was a definite possibility for a lot of us,” Kennedy said. “You pay attention. It’s interesting.
“But you don’t want to mess up what is a pretty good clubhouse. When you try to mix and match, you don’t always know how the new players are going to match up.”