The Angels have expressed interest in James Shield, but talks between the two teams for the 30-year old righty
seems to have broken down. That hasn’t discouraged the Angels from keeping an open line of communication with the Tampa Bay Rays. And in doing so, the Angels may be able to land another Rays’ pitcher: Wade Davis.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Angels have been talking to the Rays about both Shields and Davis. If they can’t get Shields, they want Davis. Davis is younger and under team control for longer. Also, the perception is the Angels would have to give up less to get him.
Davis can not be a free agent until after the 2014 season. However, the Rays have three team options that could carry Davis’ contract through the 2017 season. That amount of team control is attractive as long as Davis can continue to perform.
He was moved back to the bullpen this year after spending the last two seasons as a starter. Rosenthal thinks the Angels would use him as a starter, but so far this season, Davis has a 2.70 ERA, the lowest of his career. He is excelling out of the ‘pen. Last season, Davis started 29 games and posted a 4.45 ERA. In his career, he has a 4.06 ERA. All things considered, he makes for a nice package for the Angels who have struggled with their pitching at times.
Angels centerfielder Peter Bourjos seems the likely candidate for any deal the Tampba Bay. Los Angeles feels they can part with him, and the Rays feel they need him. B.J. Upton is a free agent after this season, and Tampa Bay will need to replace him in the outfield. Bourjos is hitting .230/.290/.336. However, he is a much better hitter in his career. In three seasons, he has hit .249/.301/.407 – right near league average for OPS.
Should the Angels not be able to make a deal for Shields, Davis is a legitimate back-up plan. Maybe he should be the primary plan.
For more on the Angels, be sure to check out Halo Hangout.
For more on the Rays, be sure to check out Rays Colored Glasses.