ANAHEIM - Things tend to change very quickly this time of year, but indications point to a relatively quiet nine days for the Angels leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31. They're too far back in the race and too close to the threshold at which teams are taxed 17.5 percent to be buyers, and too burdened by big contracts to be all-out sellers.
One player who may very well be moved, though, is Scott Downs, the lefty reliever who will be a free agent at season's end.
"I've been through this before," the 12-year veteran said. "I can't control what's going on on the other side. The only thing I can control is what I do out on the field to help this team win. That's the only thing I want to do. That's the only thing I'm going to worry about."
Downs figures to be an attractive name leading up to July 31, especially given the amount of teams that need relief help down the stretch. He's having a very solid season (1.32 ERA, 1.171 WHIP). He's affordable (owed the pro-rated share of a $5 million salary for 2013). He's got a great track record (a 2.30 ERA while averaging 63 appearances from 2007-12). And the Angels entered Monday's game 8 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the American League.
The Braves and Indians are among the teams that could have interest.
Downs is 37, has yet to pitch in the playoffs and would welcome an appearance in meaningful October games. But he'd like to make that happen here, and would love to find a way to stay with the Angels past 2013.
"I signed out here because I wanted to win and because of the makeup of this team," said Downs, in the final months of a three-year, $15 million contract. "I still believe, and I think everyone in this clubhouse believes, we have a chance to win. We have a chance to do something special here. So for me to say I want to leave here to go somewhere else, that's not the case. I want to win with this team and that's my mindset. Unless that changes, my mindset is on this team and this team only."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.