07/31/10 8:49 PM ET
Halos satisifed to stand pat at Deadline
Haren, Callaspo can offer production this year -- and beyond
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Having acquired two proven performers -- starter Dan Haren and infielder Alberto Callaspo -- capable of delivering for several years, not weeks, to come, the Angels accomplished their primary mission, allowing the non-waiver Trade Deadline to pass on Saturday without further activity.
Angels general manager Tony Reagins said the Angels "were close" to making a move before the 1 p.m. PT Deadline, but wouldn't specify the identity of the player or players or even what brand of merchandise the club was pursuing. He did allude to the loss of starter Joel Pineiro as "a blow to us," indicating it might have involved a starting pitcher.
"We haven't given up on the season by any means," Reagins said. "We still believe we have a chance to do something special. We looked at different things."
Since acquiring the Arizona ace, Haren, and the Royals' third baseman, Callaspo, in the days leading up to the Deadline, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has talked frequently about his club needing to find answers from within its own ranks.
Haren, who with Jered Weaver gives Sciosica a pair of aces for at least two more seasons, and Callaspo, a solid defender and contact hitter under club control for three years, were substantial additions in the eyes of Angels management.
"We have to focus in-house and clean some things up," Scioscia said. "When we play to our potential, we can play with anybody."
For the three-time defending American League West champions, trailing Texas by eight games on the final day of July, that has been a severe challenge.
"It's important for these players to get out and play, get comfortable with the players around them," Scioscia said. "For Dan Haren, the pitcher-catcher relationship is important. With Alberto, it's getting comfortable in a new infield.
"These guys are going to make our team better, not only today but in the future. This isn't a rental deal. This helps us now and in the future."
Over the next month, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. A player exposed to waivers can be claimed by any team and -- if there are multiple claims -- the player would be offered to the team with the worst record.
At that point, a team has 48 hours to either try to work out a trade with the claiming club or remove the player from waivers. A player can be pulled back from waivers only once, but if he clears waivers either the first or a second time through, a team can attempt to trade him to any club.
"There's some players who are going to be available, definitely," Reagins said, referring to the waiver process of acquiring talent. "It's something we'll have to pay attention to the next 10 or 15 days."
Reagins said he took some calls from other clubs regarding Angels veterans, but those deals "didn't make sense."
Acquired at the cost of veteran southpaw Joe Saunders, young pitchers Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin and a player to be named, Haren, 29, will draw $12.75 million each of the next two seasons. An option for 2013 entitles Haren to $15.5 million or a $3.5 million buyout.
"Haren is in a select group of guys," Scioscia said. "It gives us a deeper front of the rotation. That's what every championship-caliber team strives to do."
On Monday night, Haren was struck in the right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Boston's Kevin Youkilis, limiting his Angels debut to 4 2/3 innings. The ball missed bone by about an inch, a huge break for Haren and the Angels, but he said he felt "embarrassed" about having to leave so quickly.
Matched against Rich Harden, Haren was hoping to get deeper in Saturday night's game against Texas.
In 2007, his best season, Haren was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA. But 2009 was close. He was 14-10 with a 3.14 ERA, striking out a career-high 223 hitters in 229 1/3 innings.
Haren is 86-71 lifetime with a 3.71 ERA in 218 games, all but nine as a starter. He has delivered on the big October stage, enhancing his value.
In seven postseason games, five with the Cardinals in 2004 and two with the Athletics in 2006, Haren is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA. He was a reliever for the Cards, who shipped him to Oakland in 2005 for Mark Mulder along with Daric Barton and Kiko Calero.
Haren, a three-time All-Star who started the 2007 Midsummer Classic in San Francisco, has not missed a start since moving into the A's rotation in '05, a string of 191 consecutive starts.
He joins Weaver, Ervin Santana, Pineiro and Scott Kazmir in a rotation that could be the equal of any in the Majors next season.
"I would say he has that potential," Angels general manager Tony Reagins said when asked if Haren is on the level of new Texas ace Cliff Lee. "Cliff is obviously a dominant pitcher. Dan Haren is a dominant pitcher.
"We're not expecting him to be the guy. We're expecting him to do what he does -- give us quality innings and help us accomplish our goal."
Southern Californian in every respect, Haren was born in Monterey Park, about a half-hour from Angel Stadium. He attended Bishop Amat High School in La Puente and Pepperdine University before he was taken in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft and signed by the Cardinals.
"I was born and raised 20 minutes from there, and I still have a lot of family there," Haren said. "This point in my career, being on the West Coast has a lot of value for me."
Callaspo, a switch-hitting infielder who came up in the Angels' organization, was acquired from the Royals in exchange for pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith.
Callaspo, 27, signed with the Angels in 2001 as a teen in Maracay, Venezuela. He was traded to Arizona for pitcher Jason Bulger in 2006, and the Royals acquired Callaspo for Billy Buckner after the '07 season.
"He's always been confident," Scioscia said of Callaspo. "To do it at the Major League level raises his confidence. He's become a much more complete player. He puts the ball in play and is a clutch hitter."
With Pineiro out, Trevor Bell is expected to get a shot at the No. 5 starter spot. Kazmir (shoulder fatigue) is about 10 days to two weeks away from rejoining the rotation, if all continues to go well in his rehab.
Pineiro is expected to miss six to eight weeks -- likely the balance of the season -- with a strained left oblique suffered in his most recent start on Wednesday against Boston.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.