Street well aware he's a trade target

Angels closer focusing on improving numbers

Street well aware he's a trade target

KANSAS CITY -- Most players will claim, whether it's true or not, that they do not read the things that are written about them.

Not Huston Street.

"I read everything," the Angels' veteran closer said. "I know exactly what's going on."

So, yes, Street knows his name has come up as a potential trade target this week. And that the Giants are an interested suitor, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. And he knows that the Angels are in the type of precarious situation that would prompt them to swap veteran players for controllable prospects.

"The reality is, no matter how bad I want to get traded or don't want to get traded, or want to go to this team or that, you can't control it," Street said. "I have a desire to stay here. I've said that. I don't want to be traded. I'm not going to be shy about that, because I don't want to be. I signed with the Angels to win a World Series, and I still believe in that idea. But I'm not naïve to the fact that it's not in my hands, it's not in my control. And if it happens, then guess what, I'll be thankful, and I'll go on to the next day. I'm just trying to get the next save."

"The next save" is the concept that continues to guide Street's season, one that has seen him post a 4.78 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP -- both easily on track for career highs -- with a very limited workload.

The Angels entered Wednesday tied for last place, with the Twins, for the fewest save opportunities in the Majors, with 28. In July, Street has had one save chance and four other opportunities. If you count the 32 games he missed because of an oblique strain, the 32-year-old right-hander has made only 15 appearances dating back to April 23.

These are all reasons Street isn't ready to call this a down year.

"I'm at, what, 20 innings?" asked Street, who entered the series finale against the Royals with 20 2/3 innings, about a third of his average from 2005-15.

"Don't tell me I've had a bad season in the middle of my season. The season's not over."

But the Angels must make some important decisions very soon, and they face a tough one with Street.

He signed a reasonable two-year, $18 million extension in May 2015, one that will pay him $9 million in 2017 and includes a $10 million club option for 2018. The Angels, however, would be selling low if they trade Street before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, because the teams in need of a late-game bullpen arm may not view him as a closer.

Street -- who will often pitch around hitters in the ninth to get the right matchup if he has more than a one-run lead from which to work from -- cares very little about his ERA and a lot more about his WHIP.

"But both of those things aren't even close -- not even in the same galaxy -- as to how much I care about my save percentage, and wins and losses," Street said.

He's 8-for-10 in saves, and he has a 3-1 record. Of the 11 runs he has given up, only two -- both surrendered June 21, in a blown save against the Astros -- have directly impacted the outcome of a game. And though pundits would scoff at the logic, Street's mindset remains unchanged.

"I don't care what anybody thinks, because at the end of the day, 95 percent of the noise is the fantasy players, who only care about strikeouts and dominance," said Street, who entered the season with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP for his career. "The other four percent of the noise, they're not even on your own team, they don't see you, so they just read the box score. Me, my job, is to get the next save. That's my job -- get the next save. And if I pitch in a tight game, hold the lead. That's my job."

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.