The Los Angeles Angels were dealt a devastating blow when they lost staff ace Garrett Richards for the remainder of the season on Wednesday, and now it's time for them to pick up the pieces. As MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez notes, the Angels are "open" to supplementing their rotation by adding another starting pitcher this month. Of course, that's easier said than done.
The Angels, with the best record in baseball, are currently at the bottom of the waiver priority list, meaning the odds of a worthwhile player slipping to them is slim. Furthermore, as Peter Gammons tweets, the Yankees and Orioles "are claiming everyone." The Athletics, in their desire to overtake the Angels in the AL West, also figure to put in a claim on anyone they view as a possible solution to the Angels, if only to prevent the Angels from getting them.
The Angels have been looking at a variety of rotation options, and as Gammons reports, the Mets' Bartolo Colon and Astros' Scott Feldman are among them, though neither has been placed on waivers at this point.
The acquisition of the 41-year-old Colon would represent a reunion between Colon and his former club, with whom he won the AL Cy Young award with in 2005. According to Gonzalez, the Angels shied away from Colon over the offseason due to concerns over his past PED use. Colon is having a decent season in his first year with the Mets, notching a 3.85 ERA (92 ERA+), 3.40 FIP, 7.0 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, and 2.1 WAR. He's owed $11 million next season, so the Angels could retain him as an option in 2015, when he will be 42. He may be the most logical option for the Angels due to his advanced age and salary, possibly enabling him to fall to the Angels.
The 31-year-old Feldman, meanwhile, may not be as likely of an option, as the Astros gave him a three-year deal just last offseason. In 136 innings this season, he has a 4.37 ERA (90 ERA+), 4.37 FIP, and 0.9 WAR, but is cheaper and (obviously) younger than Colon.
In his column, Gonzalez mentions a number of other players that the Angels could look at, such as A.J. Burnett, Mat Latos, Colby Lewis, Brad Peacock, and Chris Capuano. Of those, Lewis and Capuano may be the only ones with a shot of landing with the Angels, which says a lot about both their success this season and lack of talent in the minor leagues. Burnett has shown a preference to remain on the East coast, even nixing a 2012 trade to the Angels, though he may be willing to waive that preference since he may not pitch next season, and this may be his last shot at earning another ring (he has previously own the World Series with the Marlins in 2003 and Yankees in 2009). Latos is simply out of the Angels' league in terms of talent.