I'm sure this would be a move that Dusty Baker would love more than anything. Getting Matthews Jr. would probably be at the top of things Dusty would like. Sarge and Dusty are big buddies with Dusty even offering him a job before 2008.
ANAHEIM -- Gary Matthews Jr. has been around long enough to take trade rumors at this time of year with a grain of salt.
But this year, he controls the shaker.
Matthews' name has already come up in speculation about what deals the Angels might be able to make before the July 31 trade deadline. If the Angels are to acquire — hear it comes again — a "big bat" like the Colorado Rockies' Matt Holliday or the Cincinnati Reds' Adam Dunn, they would need to make room in their outfield and Matthews would be the most expendable of the Angels' current quartet.
Not so fast. Matthews has a full no-trade clause and gives no indication that he would waive it.
"I'm happy here," Matthews said. "This is rumor and talk and that's part of the job. I understand that.
"There is nothing better than waking up every morning and knowing I'm going to be playing in front of 40,000 cheering fans every night here, sitting in first place and with a chance to win a championship."
The opportunity to play center field on a daily basis — something Matthews had when he signed with the Angels before last season but lost with the arrival of Torii Hunter — would be small enticement for Matthews to leave. Even with Hunter's arrival, Matthews has started 77 of the Angels' first 87 games.
"Things could always be better in terms of the way I view my game and my daily goals," Matthews said. "But in terms of where I go to work and what I'm doing — I couldn't ask for better."
Though he has continually said the unsettling nature of his roving outfield position has nothing to do with it, Matthews' offensive production has been disappointing. He went into Saturday's game batting .239 with a .316 on-base percentage and has been demoted from his spot near the top of the lineup for most of the season's first half.
"I feel good right now," said Matthews, who is batting .196 (11 for 56) in his past 19 games. "The only thing I feel bad about is the start I got off to.
"I don't know what I hit in June (.299) but if I had gone into it hitting .240 or .250, I'd be sitting around .290 now. But that's not what happened and I can't bring it back. Those first two months (.220 through the end of May) were just garbage. That's just the facts. Numbers don't lie.
"What kind of takes the sting out of it for me is I can look myself in the mirror each day and know it wasn't for lack of preparation or lack of focus or lack of intensity."