Angels' Top Trade Candidate Injured in Loss

May 25, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward (3) celebrates with third base coach Eric Young Sr. (85) after hitting a three-run home run against the Cleveland Guardians during the third inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward (3) celebrates with third base coach Eric Young Sr. (85) after hitting a three-run home run against the Cleveland Guardians during the third inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports / Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
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Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward left Tuesday night's loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks early due to low back tightness.

Ward said he tweaked his back during the game and had no previous issues before Tuesday night. When asked if he would be able to play on Wednesday, he told reporters, "I hope so."

Ward has been one of the lone bright spots for the Halos this season.

The 30-year-old is slashing .253/.331/.452 with 12 home runs, 36 runs batted in, and an OPS of .783. He's been an above average hitter with a 120 OPS+, and is under multiple more years of team control. He doesn't hit free agency until 2027.

All those things make Ward one of the most attractive trade pieces on the Angels as the deadline approaches. This year will likely be a seller's market, and there are multiple outfielder-needy contenders such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Ward has had four straight above-average seasons since 2021, including a career-best 2022 season when he slashed .281/.360/.473 with 23 home runs, 65 RBIs, and an OPS of .833.

Hopefully, Ward's back issue isn't too serious, and he's able to get back on the field quickly. The Angels should provide an update a couple hours before Wednesday's first pitch, which is 6:40 p.m. PT.


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Noah Camras

NOAH CAMRAS

Noah graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Sports Media Studies. He is the lead editor for Halos Today. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, and grew up a fan of all LA sports.