Stoneman’s Lair: Angels Acquire Conor Gillaspie

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UPDATE, July 24, 12:30 PM: With a temporary need arising at third base, the Angels acquired third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations. Gillaspie, 28, has a .237/.276/.364 slash line in 185 big league plate appearances in 2015. He’s also had unfavorable defensive ratings, and has been worth a full win below replacement level (by measure of Fangraphs). The Halos had been looking for bench depth, so it’s very likely they would’ve made a move like this any way. Gillaspie is basically a stop-gap player who will fill in for the injured David Freese until Freese returns about three weeks from now. After that, Gillaspie will either go to the bench or be designated for assignment. Pitcher Adam Wilk was DFA’d to make room for Gillaspie on the 40-man roster.

Previous trade market news:

The Angels are actively pursuing a hitter in the trade market. Teams they have been scoping are the Brewers, Marlins, Padres, and Phillies. The ideal choice for an addition to the Halos lineup, which has struggled for much of the season, would be a left handed hitter. Preferably a left fielder and/or designated hitter to plug the gaping holes left there by Matt Joyce and the early season hardships of C.J. Cron. Their lineup could use a lefty power bat to hit fifth behind Albert Pujols. But the greater need may be for a leadoff hitter, as a lack of production from the very top of their lineup has resulted in too many solo home runs from Mike Trout (20 solo blasts) and Pujols (15 solo shots). However, the surprise that came packaged with Johnny Giavotella has held his own in the leadoff spot, and number two hitter Kole Calhoun has picked things up a lot of late. Plus, the Halos are utilizing their role players more these days to create runs. But that can only take them so far. So perhaps right now a number five hitting lefty power bat makes more sense. The pendulum could always swing back to the need for a better top of the lineup hitter. Which is why we’re asking this question: Why not try to get both? Let’s take a look at what’s buzzing around the trade market in our newest weekly running post of ‘Stoneman’s Lair’:

  • The Angels’ search has expanded to Yoenis Cespedes and Gerardo Parra, among others. The front office is more open to rentals and right handed bats, and would prefer to acquire both a number five power hitter as well as a leadoff hitter. They would still prefer a lefty bat in the five-hole. It’s likely the Halos can’t get both, but they will try whatever they can.
  • Now the Angels have to add third base to their decision making. In the wake of the injury to David Freese (fractured right index finger), the Halos called up 3B/OF Kyle Kubitza from AAA Salt Lake.
    • Over the last 5 games at AAA Salt Lake, Kubitza had been playing left field while Kaleb Cowart was at third base every day for the Bees.
    • Kubitza started working out in June to prepare for time in left field.
    • This is an interesting development considering Freese’s injury, and the fact that the Halos were considering other third base options even before it happened.
    • This situation also brought out reports that the Angels are also looking for bench depth, which could most likely come from within since the club is rather deep at the farm with platoon and utility players.
  • Grant Green was sent down after Thursday’s game. A pitcher will be called up to start Friday. Most likely it will be Nick Tropeano. This could not have come at a better time considering how close we are to the trade deadline. The Halos can not only rest Hector Santiago, they can showcase Tropeano to prove he is healthy and that he can be a key piece in any major trade.
  • C.J. Wilson could be a player of interest heading towards the trade deadline. Jon Heyman of Fox Sports West writes that the southpaw could become more available now that former GM Jerry Dipoto has resigned. The two were close apparently.
  • The Angels are prioritizing control in their pursuit of a bat according to Alden Gonzalez of They are less interested in a rental, as they have a few holes to fill in the coming offseason.
  • Jon Morosi tweeted that the Angels are interested in Jay Bruce, and that they have a scout watching the Reds today as well. Bruce would be a good addition to the lineup to replace Matt Joyce,andtoplacefifthbehindPujols.
    • UPDATE on Jay Bruce, July 19, 11:51 AM: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times says the Angels’ scouting of Bruce was just the club doing their due diligence. This is common two weeks before the trade deadline. No trade is brewing as of yet.
    • Bruce has a .255/.342/.474 slash line, and 14 home runs with the Reds this season.
    • Bruce is owed about $19.5MM through 2016, and has a $13MM club option for 2017.
    • So far we know that the list of teams Bruce can block trades to are the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Marlins, Twins, Yankees, A’s, Rays and Blue Jays.
  • Rumors have alsobeenflyingaroundabouttheHalospursuingPadres outfielder Justin Upton. But there are no reliable sources who have confirmed this as of yet. We’ve just heard whispers. We’ll have updates for you if this rumor develops.
    • UPDATE on Justin Upton, July 19, 2:45 PM: Upton was taken out of the game against the Rockies. But it has also been reported that Upton was removed because his hamstring tightened up, and the weather wasn’t helping it.