The Los Angeles Angels opted to take impending free agent Shohei Ohtani off the trade market and become buyers at the trade deadline. Roughly a month later, they are waving the white flag.
The Angels on Tuesday reportedly placed starter Lucas Giolito, relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo López and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk on waivers.
Giolito, Lopez and Grichuk were all deadline acquisitions.
Los Angeles was 52-49 and 3½ games out of a wild-card spot when it announced it was holding onto Ohtani and risking losing him for nothing and making a big splash for Giolito to try to snap a postseason drought. The Angels went into a tailspin as soon as the trade deadline passed.
Since deadline day (Aug. 1), the Angels are 7-18, tied with the Colorado Rockies for the worst record in baseball. Their postseason hopes are essentially over. They are 11½ games out of a playoff spot with a 63-69 record.
The season has gone from bad to worse for the Angels. It was revealed last week Shohei Ohtani, who underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2018, had a torn UCL in his throwing elbow. He has continued to hit, but he is done pitching for the rest of the season.
And Mike Trout is back on the injured list after briefly being activated.
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The Giolito trade was probably the biggest move for the Angels. They shipped Edgar Quero, the 85th-best prospect in baseball, for the righty. Since the deal, Giolito has a 6.89 ERA in six outings (25 earned runs in 32.2 innings).
If any of the five released players are picked up by other teams by Thursday, they will be eligible to compete in the postseason.
For the Angels, it’s simply a salary dump. Those who pick up the released players will owe whatever is left remaining on their deals for this season. All five players will be free agents at season’s end. So, if they are all picked up, they are off the Angels’ books.
Ohtani, even with elbow issues, could set a record and become the first $500 million player in MLB history. Barring a miracle, the Angels will miss the postseason for the ninth straight season.
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