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Out Of Contention Angels Start Offloading

With Albert Pujols' season potentially over, the Los Angeles Angels have begun moving pieces ahead of the trade deadline.

With Albert Pujols’ season potentially over, the Los Angeles Angels have begun moving pieces ahead of the trade deadline.

Ahead of this weekend gone, the Los Angeles Angels’ postseason hopes may have been slim but at least the club had hope. Any remaining optimism went south the moment Albert Pujols’ foot finally gave up the ghost.

20130730_AL_WestThe Angels placed Pujols on the disabled list Sunday after it was revealed the slugger tore the plantar fascia in his left foot in Friday’s divisional showdown with the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics. Pujols has struggled all season with foot complaints and has largely been relegated to a designated hitter role, appearing in only 34 or 99 games in the field. Now the injury has finally caught up with him.

Pujols will undergo surgery in the next few days before beginning rehab. The surgery had originally been planned for the offseason.

“This is not something that’s going to heal in a week or two,” Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia told the media. “We’ll just wait and get direction from our medical department and how Albert feels.

“It’s a significant amount of time, that’s what it’s going to take.”

According to some estimates, Pujols could be ready to play before the season is out. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times suspects otherwise though. In a recent article he explains the benefits of leaving Pujols out for the rest of the season.

The club certainly appears to be planning ahead with the expectation that the former three-time National League MVP won’t be returning to the lineup.

Currently 14 games back of the A’s in the AL West and 10 games back of the second American League Wild Card berth, the Angels’ front office has begun to clear out its roster.

Having traded relief pitcher Scott Downs to the Atlanta Braves on Monday, the front office dealt third baseman Alberto Callaspo to Oakland late Wednesday, receiving infield prospect Grant Green in the deal.

Alberto Callaspo moves to division rival, Oakland.

Alberto Callaspo moves to division rival, Oakland.

Callaspo, who joined the Angels in 2010 following a trade from the Kansas City Royals, was pulled after the fourth inning of the Angels’ game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. He has 74 hits, 36 RBIs, 32 runs scored and five home runs in 86 games this season, with a batting average of .252.

Green, a second baseman, went hitless in five appearances for the A’s this season, tallying one RBI in the process. He has 123 hits, 66 runs scored, 50 RBIs and 11 homers with a .325 average in 87 games for Triple-A Sacramento this season.

With Callaspo gone, the focus now switches to who else on the Angels’ roster will be shipped out before Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, which expires at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Recent reports have linked shortstop Erick Aybar with the St. Louis Cardinals, but MLB Trade Rumors now believes Aybar will be staying put.

Second baseman Howie Kendrick is reportedly a target for Kansas City, but the Royals may struggle to snare the 2011 All-Star away from Orange County. The Angels are unlikely to accept anything less than a proven starter, while Kansas City is one of 12 clubs reported to be on Kendrick’s no-trade list. Still, stranger things have happened. With the arrival of Green, Kendrick certainly looks expendable, and before his current contract expires in 2015.

The next few hours could be very busy for the Angels. Following the deadline, the club will once again hit the diamond.

Preview: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Losers of five straight and eight of the last 10, the Angels (48-57, 21-29 road) will look to avoid a sweep as they meet the Rangers (58-49, 31-24 home) in the final game of a three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

20130730_AL_WildcardThe Angels blew an 11-7 eighth inning lead on Tuesday, ultimately falling 14-11 in the 10th on a Leonys Martin three-run homer.

Mike Scioscia will send Jerome Williams (5-7, 4.85 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. Williams has lost five straight decisions.

Ron Washington will counter with Martin Perez (3-3, 4.37 ERA), loser of two straight decisions. Perez was roughed up on Friday as the Cleveland Indians notched seven runs on eight hits.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers odds for 7/31/13 are available now.

The Rangers (-142) open as the favorite over the Angels (+132) on the moneyline, with some sportsbooks even stretching those odds further. Texas owns a 6-2 record against the Halos this season, including a 4-1 record at home.

The over/under opened at 10. Texas (38-63-6) has heavily favored the under this season but don’t let that fool you heading into this one. The Angels (55-47-3) have favored the over this season, while the head-to-head series has seen the total go over six times and under just twice.

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