OAKLAND — In five months as general manager of the Montreal Expos, Omar Minaya has made seven trades. In those five months, Bill Stoneman has made no trades. In his three years as general manager of the Angels, Stoneman has made nine.
The Angels' need for help is more urgent after three relievers and the starting catcher were put on the disabled list within the past three weeks, but Stoneman has yet to make a deal, even for a middle reliever.
The executive who hired Stoneman, Tony Tavares, is now president of the Expos. Although Minaya pulled off dynamic deals to add star pitcher Bartolo Colon and outfielder Cliff Floyd without adding to the Montreal payroll, Tavares said it is too simplistic to conclude that Stoneman tends to be cautious and Minaya tends to be aggressive.
"They're two totally different situations. For all intents and purposes, we have no future," Tavares said. "You tend to be a little more aggressive in those circumstances. That's a huge difference."
The Expos, expected to be eliminated or relocated after the season, traded three quality prospects for Colon and two more for Floyd. Stoneman inherited a thin minor league system, and he is unlikely to trade a package of top prospects in a one-shot chance to win this season.
"And Bill doesn't have complete and total authority to make every trade," Tavares said. "He's got to go to ownership."
Tavares pointed out that, three years after Disney's disastrous $80-million investment in Mo Vaughn, Stoneman was able to persuade company executives to approve a $24-million contract for another free agent, Aaron Sele.
"You could say, since Mo Vaughn didn't work out, that Disney would never sign any more free agents. But they did, for significant dollars," Tavares said. "I don't think Bill is afraid to make a trade."
More names from the Angels' trade target list, all closers: Detroit's Juan Acevedo (2.76 ERA, $850,000 salary), Milwaukee's Mike DeJean (3.45 ERA, $1.4 million) and Tampa Bay's Esteban Yan (4.66 ERA, $1.5 million).... Catcher Bengie Molina realizes he could not have prevented his latest hamstring injury, but he expressed his frustration Thursday: "It's ... embarrassing. I'm ... letting the team down. I can't even pick up my head. I can't look anybody in the face." Athletic trainer Ned Bergert said this hamstring injury was as severe as the one that sidelined Molina for seven weeks last season, but Molina said it did not feel as bad and he hoped he could return in four weeks.... At 11-2, Jarrod Washburn has an .846 winning percentage, tied with Pedro Martinez for the best in the American League.
Opponent--Seattle Mariners, three games.
TV--Fox Sports Net tonight and Saturday, ESPN Sunday.
Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090).
Records--Angels 55-39, Mariners 60-36.
Record vs. Mariners--1-6.
(8-7, 3.80 ERA)
(11-5, 3.69 ERA)
Update--Reliever Al Levine completed his rehabilitation assignment Thursday, pitching two innings for triple-A Salt Lake, and is expected to be activated Saturday.
Saturday, 7 p.m.--John Lackey (1-1, 3.12) vs. Ryan Franklin (4-2, 4.13)
Sunday, 5 p.m.--Jarrod Washburn (11-2, 3.03) vs. Joel Pineiro (10-4, 2.84).