LOS ANGELES – Even after rookie closer Jordan Walden blew his major-league leading seventh save Monday night, the Angels’ top priority is to add a bat this week before the trade deadline, according to CBSSports.com sources, preferably a third baseman.
The Cubs’ Aramis Ramirez and the Twins’ Michael Cuddyer are two of the players the Angels have discussed internally, according to sources, but neither seems likely at this point early in the week.
Ramirez so far has indicated an unwillingness to waive his blanket no-trade clause.
As for the versatile Cuddyer — whose limited no-trade clause involves only three clubs, none of them Los Angeles — the Angels have considered taking a run at him and plugging him in at third base. But Minnesota so far refuses to concede in a tepid AL Central.
Sources with knowledge of the Twins’ maneuverings say they remain in go-for-it mode and are casting a wide net for available relief pitchers to add to Joe Nathan and Matt Capps at the back end of their bullpen.
The Twins, after getting blown out 20-6 in Texas on Monday in a game in which Cuddyer became the first position player to pitch for them since 1990, are fourth in the division behind Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago — but only seven games out.
Without Kendrys Morales this summer, and with age appearing to chip away at Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu, the Angels rank 11th in the American League in runs scored, and 10th in both slugging and on-base percentage. They’re second in the AL West, four games behind Texas heading into Tuesday night’s games.