For all intents and purposes, the Los Angeles Angels stood pat at the MLB Trade Deadline. They made two minor moves, shipping out Andrew Heaney and Tony Watson for a package of pitching prospects, but held on to their bigger trade chips in Raisel Iglesias and Alex Cobb, signaling their belief that health is the last thing standing in their way.
Given the market for relievers and quality starters, the Angels likely could have gotten significant compensation for becoming sellers, leading some to make the argument that those two should have been gone. However, a front office showing faith in their roster means something, and it means even more when the two players have long stated their desire to stick around.
“It was very difficult for me, Thursday going into Friday, I could hardly sleep,” Iglesias said through an interpreter. “That’s all I was thinking about. But when I found out I was staying here, I was really happy. I’ve enjoyed my time here and everyone feels like a family. Now, I’m just focusing on finishing the season strong and healthy.”
“I’m thankful to still be here,” Cobb said. “I truly believe this is a team on the verge of winning a championship and would be honored to be part of it going forward. Obviously a lot of other stuff goes into it. But I’m happy to be here.”
“I’m not making it a secret,” Cobb said. “Perry is really good at being around. He’s in the clubhouse. This whole culture created here is that everybody is friends and family. There’s not a tier of people you don’t talk to. He’s in here like my teammates, so we have casual conversations. And in those conversations, I say how awesome it is here, and he says how much he enjoys having us veteran players.”
While the Angels have been battered by injury and bad luck throughout the season, it’s abundantly clear that they’ve built a strong clubhouse culture. Perhaps that culture — and getting healthy — is enough to make a run.
Heading into Sunday, they are six games back of the second wild card spot with one more game in the four-game set against the Oakland Athletics.
Jaime Barria dealing
After giving up back-to-back home runs in his start last weekend, Barria has thrown 13.2 scoreless innings. This included 6.2 frames in a combined complete-game shutout of the Athletics. Joe Maddon loved the conviction he saw from Barria, saying it forces him to consider keeping the young pitcher in the rotation.