The machinations of the trade market and the reporting of a deal before it was finalized left the Angels in an uncomfortable position Tuesday. The league now knows they seek another left fielder.
The Angels were close to acquiring oft-injured outfielder Michael Saunders from the Toronto Blue Jays late Monday night. The deal reportedly fell apart because of a failed physical by one player involved.
In the trade, the Angels would have sent a prospect to Cincinnati, who was sending outfielder Jay Bruce to Toronto. The Blue Jays were also sending a prospect to the Reds, and that unnamed prospect was the reported source of the snag.
Billy Eppler, the Angels’ general manager, would not comment Tuesday about the trade. He said there was “nothing pressing that we have going on.”
Asked whether the Angels were seeking a left fielder, Eppler did not take the bait.
“I’m looking for any reinforcement at any single position we can find, wherever we can improve this club,” Eppler said. “Sometimes that manifests itself in pitching, starting pitching or bullpen, sometimes the infield and outfield, whatever. Wherever we can get better, we’ll look to do that.”
From 2012 to 2014, Saunders, 29, batted .248 with a .320 on-base percentage and .423 slugging mark, around the league-wide average for left fielders.
He had only 31 at-bats in 2015 after stepping on a sprinkler at spring training and suffering torn cartilage in a knee that required surgery. Saunders has never appeared in 140 games or more in a season.