Blue Jays: The American League teams most likely to come calling in trade talks
At the top of my list are the L.A. Angels, who have a dynamic offence and enough talent around their 25 man roster to be a serious contender for the playoffs. They were dealt a massive blow recently though when Shohei Ohtani hit the disabled list, and rumours started to spread that he’ll need Tommy John surgery. That has not been confirmed by the Angels at this time, but don’t expect the two-way phenom to return any time soon, if at all this season.
The Angels had been mostly employing a six man rotation with the presence of Ohtani, so losing him shouldn’t be the end of the world in terms of bodies. However, replacing that production isn’t something that just comes with the next man up, and that’s why I could see them as a fit with Toronto in trade talks.
Realistically, their target should be Happ, and I’d be surprised if they weren’t at least keeping an eye on him at this point. The Angels are 7.5 games out of both the AL West and the 2nd Wild Card spot, so they’ll have some work to do in order to catch up and become truly relevant. There is enough time though, and with Mike Trout’s tenure as an Angel being wasted more each year, the front office may decide to give it a real shot this season and show their superstar they’re willing to build around him.
If they do, they can make up some ground on the Mariners or Astros before the middle of July, I would expect them to be very active at the deadline. They could arguably use some depth in the outfield, and also in the bullpen as well, so their interests could go beyond Happ in trade talks. If they wanted to get really crazy, they could always look at bringing in Josh Donaldson as an upgrade to their infield picture as well, but that might be a bit of a squeeze, and he might have to play first base when Andrelton Simmons returns and Zack Cozart goes back to third base.
The key for Mike Scoscia’s team will be whether or not they’re close enough to the hunt to justify becoming a buyer. My guess is they’ll be close enough to take a shot, as I don’t expect the Mariners to keep this up forever, even if they’re playing really good baseball right now.