The Los Angeles Angels need arms, and they need them badly.
This is no secret for a team whose mammoth offensive capabilities have not translated into on-field success thus far at 44-49. With injuries to starting pitchers Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson, where might the Halos be looking to fill this roster need?
New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes is one option. Funnily enough, the Angels were considering drafting Hughes in 2004 before they settled on current ace Jered Weaver. Nevertheless, a twist of fate might see Hughes wind up in Anaheim after all.
Hughes has been no stalwart of the Yankee rotation: he is just 4-9 with a 4.57 ERA on the year, hardly attractive stats for any potential suitors. Even so, those numbers are likely inflated by Yankee Stadium’s reputation as a hitter-friendly park, not to mention the injuries to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, which have slowed down New York’s offense.
The addition of Hughes would, at the very least, give hope to a Los Angeles rotation that hasn’t had a whole lot of it this year. Outside of C.J. Wilson and Weaver, who spent a month and a half on the DL earlier this year, the rotation has been spotty, injured and unreliable. Hughes has a decent track record (47-29, 4.24 ERA from 2009-2012) and just might benefit from a change of scenery.
The question, of course, is whom the Angels would have to give up in order to land Hughes. Unable to offer many prospects, the Halos may have to part with an everyday player. Even if the cost is heavy, the Angels should seriously consider making a play for Hughes; otherwise, I don’t see a path to the playoffs for the team.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.