The Los Angeles Angels are looking to contend next season. They’ve upgraded multiple positions strictly for defense. However, the pitching staff could use an update.
The Los Angeles Angels and GM Billy Eppler will probably have some extra pressure going into this season. The Angels are coming off their worst season since 1999. They have baseball’s most coveted superstar in the prime of his career, and they have a fanbase that is growing in discontent with the owner. Theoretically, this is a make or break season for the future of the Angels.
One deep run into the postseason could change the team’s misfortunes. If the Angels went toe-to-toe in the postseason with the league’s best teams, it would change the narrative around Halo nation. As a result, there could be some assurance that Mike Trout would stay come 2020.
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Eppler has made some decent moves this offseason. These moves could drastically improve the Angels defensive and batting woes this season.
The Angels have signed a handful of minor league pitchers this offseason; however, none really jump off the stat sheet as elite. One pitcher that Eppler signed specifically for the starting rotation is Jesse Chavez. Chavez signed a $5.75 million, one-year contract with incentives for a starting pitcher.
This isn’t a terrible signing, although it is questionable. Chavez has predominantly been a reliever in his career. The 33-year old righty from San Gabriel has only been a starter for two seasons with the Oakland A’s. In 2014 Chavez had a record of 8-8 with a 3.45 ERA, and in 2015, he posted a 4.18 ERA and a 7-15 record with the A’s.
Also noteworthy, the Angels will welcome back Garrett Richards who has been on the DL since May. Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, and Ricky Nolasco will round out the starting five for the Angels.
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Should the Angels look at adding some depth to the pitching staff? Sure, although the free agent market is somewhat slim. Currently, the Angels have three free agent pitchers who have yet to strike a deal away from Anaheim. Jered Weaver,Tim Lincecum, and C.J. Wilson all have yet to get new deals in either the major or minor league. However, there are some free agent pitchers the Angels could look at.
Jason Hamel, Jorge De La Rosa, Ryan Vogelsong, and Matt Latos are all free agents. While some of the free agent pitchers are high-quality players, there are some I would sign in a heartbeat. Hamel and La Rosa could probably help out the Angels.
Billy Eppler maintains that there are some hidden gems on the 25-man roster ready for next season. Due to all the injuries last season, the Angels have a buffed up roster filled with backups and prospects ready to make the leap to the majors.
It will be interesting to see how the Angels will look from the mound this season. Hopefully, the Angels rotation will show signs of life and surprise the league. The same way they were supposed to last season. While many experts are reluctant to give the Angels any positive rankings until they stay healthy, the Angels could be a surprise team this season.