If Angels fans are waiting for this team to make a trade for a big-name hitter this month, they might be waiting a long time.
It appears the Angels have backed away from pursuing an impact hitter by the July 31 trade deadline, instead pinning their hopes on improved production from struggling veterans Hideki Matsui (.252) and Bobby Abreu (.257). If the Angels make a trade, it likely would be for help on the bench or in the bullpen.
One stumbling block to an impact trade this season is a lack of depth in the minor leagues. The Angels aren't interested in trading their top prospect, outfielder Mike Trout, and teams aren't exactly beating down the door to get at the rest of the Angels' minor-leaguers. The struggles of Brandon Wood, once a top Angels prospect, have dimmed teams' interest level further.
The Seattle Mariners might look to trade slugger Russell Branyan after they acquired first baseman Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee deal. The Mariners clearly aren't opposed to trading within the division. Neither are the Angels, in theory.
"For me, if it made sense you'd look at it," Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. "I don't think you'd ever not look at opportunities that can help you. Whether it's within the division doesn't matter."