Early in the spring this year the Los Angeles Angels thought their off-season acquisition Ryan Madson had a chance to be ready for opening day. As the days turned into weeks it became much more clear that it was not going to happen. Any promising moments were washed away by another small setback here or there. Now, as final confirmation that things might be shaky all year for Madson, the Angels have made a few moves.
They traded pitcher Steve Geltz to the Tampa Bay Rays for Dane De La Rosa who had been designated for triple-A. They also traded cash considerations to the New York Mets for Elvin Ramirez. Finally they signed Mark Lowe who had been released recently by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It seems clear that the Angels have had a bit of a watch list for relief pitchers to become available. When someone on that list became free, they signed them in whatever way they could. That says to be two things. First of all it makes it obvious that the Angels are rightly wary of Madson’s status for this season. Secondly it shows that they are willing to do what they must to win in spite of their big free agent not being ready to go.
Obviously with a big signing like outfielder Josh Hamilton, the Angels get the label of a team willing to throw money at a problem and win. Something like this situation with Madson and shoring up the pen without him tells me something different though. They are willing to pay money for a fix for a problem, but they attack a problem smartly like a winning baseball franchise should. This proves why they will be in the hunt at the end of the year with or without superstar free agents.