Angels satisfied to stand pat at deadline

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 01 2014 03:24:50 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2014 03:24:52 AM EDT

BALTIMORE -- The Los Angeles Angels did not feel compelled to make reactionary move prior to the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday after their chief American League West rival, the Oakland A's, acquired former Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester.

Instead, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said the team will rely heavily on its current corps of players to make a playoff push. After beating the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in 13 innings Thursday, the Angels trail the first-place A's by two games.

Oakland traded outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes, who previously played for the A's in 2012. The move gives Oakland one of the most dominant rotations in the majors.

"My first reaction, kind of like any other baseball fan, was, 'Wow,'" said Dipoto, via a conference call with reporters, about hearing the news of the Lester trade. "It's Jon Lester. Jon Lester is a stud. We've seen him on the postseason stage before, and he's been great. A good move for the A's. They traded something really good to get him. As I've said throughout, we'll focus on our own team."

When asked whether the Angels were close to making a trade, Dipoto said, "Not at all."

He reiterated that the team did not feel any extra pressure just because Oakland made a significant move. Dipoto said the Angels organization is happy with the performance of the rotation this season and the bullpen continues to show improvement.

Los Angeles made significant trades already for this season, acquiring right-hander Huston Street, righty Jason Grilli and left-hander Joe Thatcher.

The Angels likely will activate C.J. Wilson (right ankle sprain) from the 15-day disabled list to start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. Outfielder Collin Cowgill (nasal fracture) is also working his way back to the team.

"That's going to bolster us again," Dipoto said. "We feel confident with the team that we have."

Manager Mike Scioscia agreed with Dipoto that the Angels simply need to focus on their play rather than worrying about the opposition.

"They were good yesterday and they're good today," Scioscia about the A's. "We have a really good team. Our focus has to be continuing to play at a high level and continuing to improve. Right now, our offense is not firing on all cylinders, but we're pitching well and playing good defense."

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