Expect the Angels to ramp up their offense with a huge deal before we see August — but don’t expect them to be a huge topic in the Ice Cooler League (that’s the summer version of the Hot Stove League). That’s the way the Halos operate, clandestinely.
In Philadelphia, GM (Stand) Pat Gillick won’t live up to his nickname. But Angels GM Bill (Stealth) Stoneman will. He is masterful at operating behind the scenes, keeping a stiff upper (and lower) lip, then pulling a big trigger. Remember a couple of winters ago, when he came out of nowhere to swoop up Vladimir Guerrero?
Another American League GM confides to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman that the Angels are intently pursuing Miguel Tejada.
If Stoneman is also looking at Orange County-native Shawn Green of the Diamondbacks, he might have a fight on his hands with the Yankees.
The Bombers’ search for a left-handed hitting outfielder could lead to Green, who would gladly waive his no-trade clause to go to New York. He would love to again be in the same town as Carlos Delgado. The two have been as tightasthis since their days together in Toronto.
Talk of Green or the Phils’ Bobby Abreu unsettles Gary Sheffield. Both have contracts beyond this season — and a move for either would impact the Yankees’ ultimate decision on whether to exercise Sheffield’s 2007 option.
Barry Zito isn’t going anywhere. Yet. Yes, the payroll-restricted A’s have a track record for moving players approaching big paydays. GM Billy Beane’s knack for perpetuating the team’s success by making shrewd moves with them makes him a wise dealer — but he hasn’t been a Deadline dealer. Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Tejada — all stayed for the full race, then were dealt, or allowed to walk as free agents, in the offseason.
Meanwhile, I loved the irony of MLB’s first no-save day in nearly 28 years, right in the midst of all the shop-talk about contenders looking for bullpen help. Hey, did they literally run out of relievers?
Of course not. A bunch of blowouts yesterday were a big reason why none of the 15 games produced a save. I’m sure you read wire stories reporting that the last day of a full schedule without saves was Sept. 15, 1978. But here’s something they didn’t tell you: In that day’s 14 games (including a doubleheader), there were 10 complete-game wins, plus Nolan Ryan giving up the losing hit with two outs in the ninth and Mike Krukow pitching nine in a game that went 12.
I’ll keep my ear to the ground and my toes in the Cooler.