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Relief pitching hard to come by on trade market

Relief pitching hard to come by on trade market

Relief pitching hard to come by on trade market
ANAHEIM -- The Angels came out of the non-waiver Trade Deadline and navigated through August with a rather obvious need in the bullpen, but they're unlikely to make a last-minute acquisition in the two days that remain until the waiver deadline, meaning a relief corps that sports the highest second-half ERA in the Majors will have to resolve itself internally.

Timing simply wasn't on the Angels' side.

This was a year, more so than any year in general manager Jerry Dipoto's recollection, when acquiring relief help was especially difficult. Dipoto was able to coax Ernesto Frieri from the Padres in early May, eventually turning him into the Angels' closer, but very few relievers switched teams in July and August.

The only notable ones dealt in July were Brandon League (Mariners to Dodgers), Jonathan Broxton (Royals to Reds), Randy Choate (Marlins to Dodgers), Brett Myers (Astros to White Sox) and Brandon Lyon (Astros to Blue Jays).

The only notable one claimed off waivers so far in August has been ex-Royals lefty Jose Mijares, who slipped through every American League team -- mainly due to league-wide concerns over his makeup -- before landing in the laps of the Giants.

"The waiver wire is a unique thing," Dipoto said. "You have to be in the exact right place at the exact right time with the exact player that someone was going to let slip through to you."

Dipoto has continually said the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which no longer allows teams to gain free-agent compensation for rentals, has impacted player movement. More specifically, it has altered the amount of relievers that change hands.

"For a handful of years in recent memory," Dipoto said, "relievers would move fairly frequently at the Trade Deadline, because there was a premium to be paid for that pitcher, understanding that in all likelihood you were going to give up a prospect or a player of value that was greater than two-and-a-half months of a relief pitcher joining your team, but as compensation you were going to get a compensation round or a B-type Draft [pick]. That no longer exists."

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