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June 01, 2017

Coming off an 88-loss season a year ago the Angels are trending in the right direction, but with Mike Trout sidelined for the next six to eight weeks by surgery to repair a torn UCL in his left thumb, it's unrealistic to think that they can remain relevant for much longer. As my frequent SI colleague Joe Sheehan pointed out in his indispensable newsletter, the rest of the offense besides Trout was "hitting" a combined .226/.297/.344 en route to -0.7 WAR, which bodes poorly. Among the pitchers, Tyler Skaggs (oblique) is out until the end of the month and Garret Richards (biceps irritation) won't be back until August, so even if the bats of infielder Danny Espinosa, outfielder Kole Calhoun and DH Albert Pujols show some life, don't expect to see a pennant race in Anaheim this September.

As for what players could be dealt, Espinosa, pitcher Jesse Chavez, third baseman Yunel Escobar, resurgent outfielder Cameron Maybin and newly-minted closer (!) Bud Norris are pending free agents, while pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street have club options.

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