Take what any general manager says this time of year with a grain of salt. Jerry Dipoto doesn't yet know what opportunities are going to arise on the trade market and an injury in the next month could dramatically change his approach to the July 31 deadline.
But in his early public comments on the Angels' wish list, it sounds as if Dipoto is aiming for small game rather than trophy hunting.
"Right now from a position player standpoint, we’ve got a good group of players and they’re all playing well. From a bullpen angle, we’ve got a variety of different looks and they’re all performing well," Dipoto said Sunday. "From a starting pitching standpoint, I don’t know that we’re going to be able to go on the market and replicate or do better than any of the six guys we have now."
One report indicated the Angels are looking for another reliever, probably left-handed, and a Triple-A caliber starting pitcher that would be an upgrade over the talent they have beyond Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards at the back of the rotation. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.
Dipoto indicated it might be tough even to land a starter who has never pitched in the major leagues.
"Sometimes it's harder to acquire the Triple-A, major-league ready guy than it is the veteran guy who’s going to be a free agent," Dipoto said.
After spending about $330 million over the winter, owner Arte Moreno probably isn't keen on bumping up the payroll much from its current level of $151 million, at least not until he is convinced he has to. And with a second wild card in play, teams are less likely to throw up the white flag and look to shed salaries. The Toronto Blue Jays, for example, are in the thick of the race even with three-fifths of their starting rotation on the disabled list. The Angels will have some say over Toronto's future when they play four games in there starting Thursday.
"We're going to continue to survey and, if the ability or chance to help a given part of our team arises, we'll try to capitalize on the opportunity," Dipoto said.