Possessing the major league’s second best record, the Los Angeles Angels appeared to have almost everything a solid title contender needs: Consistent and clutch hitting, and with power, solid defense, a smart, experienced and decisive manager with a quality coaching staff behind him, and vastly improved and now solid starting pitching. What was glaringly missing, however, was a dependable bullpen, led by a reliable closer.
As the season progressed, this weakness became more and more apparent, and after several unsettling losses, GM Jerry Dipoto and the rest of the Angels’ brain trust realized
| that, after missing the playoffs for far too long, they had a real chance this season, and the one weakness could not be allowed to keep them from the playoffs, and from the big prize of the World Series.|
So, first they unloaded the incumbent closer, the ineffective Ernesto Frieri, receiving in exchange a veteran in Jason Grilli who could be a solid set-up guy who also had closer experience and who, if need
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The Angels gave up four young guys in the deal, a couple of whom could have good major league futures. Jose Rendon is a speedy young shortstop who was hitting .327 in the low minors and R.J. Alvarez was striking everyone out in Double-A, while compiling a microscopic 0.33 ERA. Also going to San Diego in the deal were pitcher Elliot Morris and second baseman Taylor Lindsey, who was the team’s number one draft choice in 2010
The Angels began the season trying to navigate down Frieri Alley, but now they’re in the drivers’ seat on Huston Street.