So has everyone settled down about Brandon Wood getting DFA’d yet? Yes, yes, it is a big deal and we are all simultaneously happy/sad to see Wood go. Nobody likes to see a player get handed his walking papers, but Wood definitely had his chances and he didn’t even come close to taking advantage of them. Thus he had to go and even with as frustrating as he was, parting still proved to be such sweet sorrow.
Well, fans, get ready for some more of that sweet sorrow because we are about to get a truckload over the next month or two.
The first head to roll won’t be very bloody, but someone who thus far seems somewhat deserving of being in the majors is going to get the shaft. Either Matt Palmer or Tyler Chatwood, both coming off of strong starts, are destined to get a one-way ticket back to Salt Lake once Joel Pineiro comes off the DL in the next week or two. No big whoop, but still, someone is losing their job and that is never fun.
Next, and this is where the first drops of blood start getting spilt. Scott Kazmir must be dealt with. Call me a cynic, but I see no reason to believe he is going to improve enough to keep his job once he is given his final obligatory comeback start. Maybe he lasts two or three starts, I don’t know. I do know that there is little chance of him still being on this team by the end of May. If the Angels thought it was rough to let Wood go, just wait until they give Kazmir the boost since there is a pretty good chance they are ending his career in the process.
After that, and I don’t know exactly when this is going to happen, but Jason Bulger will probably be following Kazmir and Wood out the door before long. The Halos think very highly of Kevin Jepsen and Michael Kohn and will be calling both of them back up as soon as they see fit. The Halos can clear one spot by demoting Francisco Rodriguez, but the only way they can get both back on the roster is by kicking Bulger to the curb, which makes a lot of sense since he has barely been used at all this year. Sorry, Jason, it is just part of the business.
Now, and I am sure I will talk about this more in the future, the real drama is going to begin when Kendrys Morales makes his much anticipated return to active duty. The first thing that has to happen there is clearing a spot for him on the active roster. Once again, the Angels are probably going to have to kick someone to the curb. They could option Mark Trumbo to the minors, but he seems to have proven that he belongs in the bigs and, at the least, would be a nice bench player and back-up for Morales, so I don’t consider that much of an option. That almost certainly means Bobby Wilson is going to be looking for a new job. The Angels just don’t need three catchers and Wilson isn’t even part of the rotation at this point, so he is the odd man out. Sorry, Bobby.
Oh, but we’re not done. Now the Halos need to clear a starting spot for Morales. This time, Trumbo won’t be so lucky. Unless he is destroying the league, he is bound for the bench by virtue of being a rookie. He’ll still get to play on occasion as Morales will need time off and Abreu will sit against tougher lefties. Pretty simple, right?
Yeah, not so much.
The problem they face now is figuring out what to do with Trumbo not only this year but next. With essentially no position players hitting free agency this off-season, Trumbo still doesn’t have a lineup spot waiting for him in 2012, assuming he keeps proving he deserves one. The best way to clear this up is by reducing Bobby Abreu’s playing time so that his option doesn’t vest and he can be pushed out the door with little anxiety. If they don’t do that, then the Angels are going to have to look to deal at least on veteran, likely Abreu but maybe Torii Hunter. Neither player is in their prime anymore, but they are both clubhouse leaders, so a trade of one of them won’t be taken lightly. What is even crazier though is that they might need to trade BOTH of them. Not only must Angel managment account for Trumbo, but they will probably want to clear some playing time for Mike Trout too. Of course, the Angels could opt to deal away Trumbo instead, maybe for some starting pitching to move into the rotation next year, which might be a good idea since Joel Pineiro will be hitting free agency.
See what I’m saying? This roster has a very real chance of looking much, much different next season.