Even as they continue to seek a high-end upgrade for their rotation, the Angels are letting it be known that they have some concerns about their bullpen, as well.
They had interest in Matt Capps before he went back on the disabled list with the Twins. They have also talked to the Nationals, and could have interest in Jonathan Broxton, as well.
The bullpen became an Angels strength in the first half, with the trade for Ernesto Frieri and the emergence of Scott Downs. But bullpen failures against the Yankees and Tigers over the last week have made it obvious that the Angels still need to improve, and sources say they've been out seeking help.
The Angels are known to have shown interest in Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels, the top two starters who could be available this month. They're also among the teams interested in Francisco Liriano, and could also match up with the Rays (who have many starting pitchers they'd be willing to deal).
The Angels, who have played before a huge gathering of scouts this week in Detroit, are willing to offer outfielder Peter Bourjos for the right reliever. The Angels are also suggesting to teams that they would deal designated hitter Kendrys Morales. And Garrett Richards, who pitched well Tuesday night against the Tigers, could also be available in a deal for one of the top starters.
"That was the best I've ever seen [Richards]," said one scout who watched Tuesday's game. "I've never seen him throw that many strikes. His first pitch of the game was 97 [mph], and he was still throwing 97 in the sixth."
Richards faced Jacob Turner, who the Tigers had hoped to showcase as part of their effort to acquire a top starting pitcher. But Turner was awful, raising even more questions on his value as a top prospect.
"Everything he threw was in the middle of the plate," the scout said.