Are the Angels interested in acquiring Florida reliever Leo Nunez to bolster… (Sarah Glenn / Getty Images )
Reporting from Cleveland — The Angels reportedly remain interested in San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, but they could turn their attention to the Marlins, who are prepared to deal relievers Leo Nunez and Randy Choate.
The Marlins are scouting the Angels closely, with assistant general manager Mark Wiley following the team from Baltimore to Cleveland this week. And while Nunez, who has 28 saves and is in the final two months of a $3.65-million deal, would provide depth at the back of the Angels' bullpen, the two teams don't appear to match up.
Florida is looking for a third baseman or a center fielder and the best the Angels could offer would be a deal built around either Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis. The Marlins are likely to get much more elsewhere, but it is curious that Izturis played in the first four games of the trip, the first time he's played four consecutive days in more than a month.
Yet despite all that, if Sunday's nonwaiver trade deadline passes without the Angels making a deal, that would be fine with Manager Mike Scioscia.
Scioscia thinks Fernando Rodney, who struck out two batters Saturday in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list, could team with left-hander Hisanori Takahashi (two hits, one run given up in 62/3 innings since the All-Star break) to stabilize the bullpen. And he remains committed to rookie Jordan Walden as his closer despite a major league-high seventh blown save Monday.
"Jordan's been having a heck of a year for us," Scioscia said.
Offensively, the manager says recent spurts from Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells — Wells has 28 runs batted in in the last 35 games — are hopeful signs.
"In house we have the potential to get to where we need to be offensively," Scioscia said. "I've said it before: I think Arte Moreno has spent enough money. We need to get our game to where it needs to be. And I think we're already seeing some signs of it."
With a two-run home run in the eighth inning Monday, Bobby Abreu moved past Roberto Clemente on the all-time list for RBIs with 1,306.
The late Clemente, the first Latin American enshrined in the Hall of Fame, remains a revered figure for players such as Abreu, a Venezuelan.
"This one is special. It's about the pride of Latin American players," Abreu said. "You're talking about Roberto Clemente. It means a lot to me.
"That's the man. You always follow the one that opened the doors for us. Even though I didn't see him play, everybody always talks about Roberto Clemente. He means a lot to me."
Abreu was also hopeful that Monday's home run would assign another part of his career to history — mainly the slump in which he hit .159 with just two extra-base hits in July.
"I feel more comfortable," said Abreu who, at the suggestion of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, moved a few inches closer to the plate. "Before, I was jumping. And I was all over. Today it was good."
Abreu nearly had a home run in an earlier at-bat, sending Indians right fielder Travis Buck to the wall to catch his drive.
"It's about time I could help the team," Abreu said.