Less than two weeks remain until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and the Angels beat their AL West rivals to the punch by trading for Padres closer Huston Street. The way GW sees it, the deal will seal a division championship for the Angels, who already have the most potent offense in the division.
Manager Mike Scioscia, who reportedly was on the proverbial hot seat most of last season, seems to have found that old magic again and not a word about job security has surfaced in 2014. Amazing what good pitching, solid defense, a healthy Albert Pujols and superstar Mike Trout in the lineup makes for so much managerial improvement from one year to the next.
This annual chess game now turns its attention on the division-leading Athletics and playoff-contending Mariners (haven’t written those words in a long time). What will they do as the trade deadline approaches. Seattle needs a run-producer in the worst way.
Here are this week’s Power Rankings
1. Angels (2): Acquiring Huston Street for the stretch run will turn the Angels into AL West champions
2. Athletics (1): Being good in the toughest division in MLB might not good enough for a three-peat
3. Dodgers (3): Too many quality outfielders is doing more harm than good, so one of them must go
4. Mariners (4): Matt Kemp would look awfully good in the Seattle outfield, and especially in the lineup
5. Giants (5): Brandon Belt’s concussion is just the latest headache encountered by the up-and-down club
6. Astros: (6): It’s bye-bye first overall draft pick as high school pitcher Brady Aiken just said no to deal
7. Padres (7): Fans are wondering how many of the team’s few stars will follow Street out the door
8. Diamondbacks (9): It’s too bad the Cubs aren’t on the Arizona schedule every weekend
9. Rockies (8): Bet you can’t name a Rockies starting position player other than Troy Tulowitzki
10. Rangers (10): Remember when a Rangers-Athletics series was special? Not so much this season
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)