Your turn, Jeff Luhnow.
The Los Angeles Angels, in the midst of what should be a down-to-the-wire division race with the Houston Astros, have added even more outfield/DH depth, acquiring David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians and David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays. After acquiring Shane Victorino on Monday, interim general manager Bill Stoneman said the team was still looking for a left-handed bat. Now it has two.
Murphy and DeJesus are minor acquisitions but help shore up major holes. As mentioned when L.A. acquired Victorino, Angels left fielders had the worst production in the majors. Manager Mike Scioscia can now platoon Murphy (.296/.344/.437) and Victorino. DeJesus (.259/.323/.375) can platoon at DH with C.J. Cron. Angels DHs were hitting .232/.295/.405 entering Tuesday, 13th in the American League in wOBA. The Angels should have a much better lineup now against right-handers (they were ninth in the AL in wOBA against righties).
So, good pickups for roster depth and a lot more flexibility for Scioscia. The Indians picked up Double-A shortstop Eric Stamets, a 23-year-old hitting .248/.306/.360 with three home runs while repeating Double-A. As you would predict from that line, he's a glove-first guy. During spring training, Scioscia said he has major league defensive skills. But the bat obviously lags behind.
Meanwhile, reports out of Houston are that Astros GM Luhnow has shut things down with the media.
Jeff Luhnow at this point doesn't want to talk anymore about potential trades publicly. Said Astros are still being active. Silent mode.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 28, 2015
Things must be getting serious. Reports earlier in the day had the Astros in the Cole Hamels discussions. They certainly have the prospects to get him, with Hamels a more intriguing option for Houston than a rental due to his long-term contract and the team's low payroll for the immediate future.
Heading into Tuesday and before the Murphy and DeJesus trades, FanGraphs gave the Angels a 62 percent chance of winning the division, and the Astros a 36 percent chance. I think it's a little closer than that, especially if Dallas Keuchel and Scott Kazmir keep pitching close to their season numbers. Acquire Hamels and the Astros have one impressive trio.
Oh ... the Angels and Astros kick off a three-game series in Houston Tuesday night, with six more games against each other in September. Big games, my friends.