And so it begins. The Angels were expected to become sellers of some sort at the trade deadline and have followed through on those expectations by trading Scott Downs to Atlanta for relief prospect Cory Rasmus. It is unclear at this time if the Angels will pick up any of the money remaining on Downs' contract, not that it matters much in the grand scheme of things.
Downs was far and away the most likely Angel to be dealt, so seeing the Halos move him is no surprise. The fact that they moved him with a decent amount of time before the deadline could be a sign that they still have some wheeling and dealing to do.
As for the return, the best thing about him is that probably for like half a second you thought they somehow got Colby Rasmus, the outfielder. But no, they didn't. Cory is Colby's brother and not nearly the same kind of talent. He's a 25-year old reliever who has had shoulder problems in the past. He has spent a few games in the majors with the Braves this year and was no good at all. That being said, he throws hard, misses bats, but has iffy command. In other words, he is a lot like every other scrap heap pick up that Dipoto has made. The team has had some luck turning those guys into useful middle relievers, but this is really a pretty lousy return on Downs. Then again, how much could've one expect to get for a rental of a fragile 37-year old left-handed specialist reliever?
Given the Angels' ever present search for solid middle relief, expect Rasmus to get a call to the bigs at some point this season, but it might have to wait until a few more trades are made or even September so that the minor league staff can get their hands on him first to see what they might want to change with the kid. There is no word yet on who will be recalled to take Scott Downs' spot on the active roster which is now devoid of left-handed relievers (at least until Roth is eligible to be recalled in a few days).