The ever-changing and ever-amazing American League West has been, undeniably, the most exciting division in all of baseball this season. The see-saw like battle between the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners has been captivating, to say the least. What was once a division dominated by Oakland, with the Angels and Mariners chasing, has been turned on it’s head with recent events.
After Oakland traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for Jon Lester, their offense has been struggling, big time. Consequentially, Los Angeles, who have been playing some brilliant baseball, ceased the moment and slipped ahead of Oakland. With the A’s struggling, all signs seemed to be pointing to the Angels to snatch the pennant. Garrett Richards suffered a terrible, season-ending, injury and Jon Lester led the A’s to a second straight win over the Angels. The division was turned on it’s head once more.
The power pitching of Oakland has dominated Los Angeles two nights in a row, and despite their lacklustre offense, they find themselves atop of the division. The once amazing Angels seem punctured. Their disappointing rotation had been given a lifeline all season long from Richards, who was having a season of Cy-Young proportion. The lifeline is now gone.
However, another lifeline has now presented itself to the Angels in the form of Bartolo Colon. Maybe the baseball Gods are looking after the Angels, after all. The right handed starter had an unbelievable year for Oakland last year, but hasn’t quite been as sharp this year for the New York Mets. With Colon owning a huge salary, the substandard Mets have placed the pitcher on revocable waivers. Naturally, Anaheim are big favourites to try and claim Colon.
There are several problems though. Currently, the Athletics would be offered Colon first and even before Oakland, the Los Angeles Dodgers would have a chance to acquire Colon. The Dodgers may give it a go as they need pitching. The Athletics may claim him just to prevent him from joining the Angels, and why not? Being nice doesn’t win World Series rings.
Just like everything in life there are pros and cons to Oakland claiming, too. Hypothetically speaking if Colon reached Oakland, and they had the chance to claim him, one may assume Oakland must claim him in order to block a trade to Los Angeles. However, the Mets could then play some dirty baseball too. They could simply do nothing, and leave Colon and his huge salary to pack his bags and join the claiming team.
So – overall, how does the situation look? The Angels will cross their fingers and count their lucky stars and simply hope he reaches them. If that does indeed happen, they can sort something out to reinforce their rotation. The Dodgers stand to gain and have nothing to lose, sort of. They could do with pitching help and can manage his salary, however, their need isn’t huge. The A’s could gain a pennant from claiming but could also destroy their payroll by claiming. Go figure.