The Angels are 9½ games behind in the AL West and are seven games behind the American League wild card going into Saturday night's games, with five teams between them and the second wild card. They've wildly underachieved so far, but they're reportedly out scouting help for their big league club, so here we are.
Needs (likelihood to deal for position in italics)
Starting pitching-Medium: The Angels best starter to date, Jason Vargas, is on the disabled list for a month or so due to a blood clot. Jerome Williams has come out of nowhere to pitch great, but his peripherals suggest a huge correction in his future. C.J. Wilson has been steady if unspectacular. Jered Weaver has been OK, but he's not really doing Jered Weaver-y things (i.e. dominating). The Angels could really use someone to solidify their rotation so that they can stop pitching Tommy Hanson and/or Joe Blanton (who have been bad).
Third Base-Low: Alberto Callaspo has been manning third for the Angels and he hasn't been terrible, but he hasn't been good either. Callaspo is 30 and has been their third baseman for three years, but they could use an upgrade here.
Fits on the Cub Roster
It's kind of amazing to look at their record after looking at their needs. Scott Feldman and Matt Garza would certainly interest them for their pitching needs. Carlos Villanueva could be another option if the Angels want to fix on the cheap and have a guy that could move to the pen too. Luis Valbuena seems like an upgrade for them at third base too.
What's in it for the Cubs?
Cover your eyes. Ranked the worst organization for talent by Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America, this farm system is obviously really awful. Third baseman Kaleb Cowart was a top 100 prospect coming into the year, but he's been terrible at Double-A, posting a .605 OPS so far this year. Nick Maronde was a well-thought-of lefthander coming into this season, but the Angels have now made him a full-time reliever and he's been unimpressive both in the majors and at Double-A this year. C.J. Cron is a power hitting first base prospect that's been disappointing in Double-A as a 23 year old, producing only a .750 OPS so far this year. Second base prospect Taylor Lindsey is showing a good bat at Double-A, but there are questions on whether he can play second base full-time. R.J. Alvarez, last year's third round pick, is probably the biggest riser in this system, as Alvarez has a 2.62 ERA and a 14.2 K/9 in High-A.
Who says no?
Luis Valbuena for R.J. Alvarez
From Sickels: "Third round pick from Florida Atlantic was top player in 2012 draft class for Angels, since they lacked first and second round choices. Can hit 100 MPH in relief and has a good slider, but command needs work. Closer potential."
Overall Fit- Low
This team doesn't have much in the organization that would interest the Cubs and it seems doubtful they'll be buyers anyway. Most of the top trade chips for the Cubs probably aren't in play here simply because the Angels' system is so bad.
Next Up: Pittsburgh Pirates