Sports

3 Players The Angels Can Sign After The Lockout

A detail of the hat and glove of a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the Angeles Home Opener against the Texas Rangers on April 2, 2007 at Angeles Stadium in Anaheim, California.
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

 

The Los Angeles Angels have worked hard to address their pitching needs during the offseason, prior to the lockout.

They signed Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen, and Aaron Loup.

It’s a great start, but more help is needed, both in the pitching and position players department.

These three players are still available and fit in the roster.

 

3. Trevor Story

Right now, the Angels’ shortstop depth chart shows the likes of Tyler Wade and Luis Rengifo at the top.

Wade was recently designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.

Realistically, the Angels shouldn’t open the season with any of those names as the starter.

That would mean they need to venture into the trade market or go sign one of the two clear upgrades there are left on the market: Trevor Story or Carlos Correa.

Correa may be out of their price range, but Story remains a possibility.

He is a solid shortstop who is good with the bat, with the glove, and with his legs.

He could help stabilize the infield and provide another right-handed weapon to the lineup.

He has a .272/.340/.523 career batting line and is capable of hitting 30 homers and stealing 20 bases per season with solid defense at a premium position.

He should command a larger contract than Javier Baez, so we are talking about a minimum of $140 million or $150 million.

But it’s something the Angels need to do to keep up the pace in the tough American League West.

 

2. Andrew Chafin

The Angels still have several needs, but despite their signing of Loup, the bullpen is perhaps the most pressing.

Simply put, there aren’t many reliable arms in the Angels’ bullpen.

Andrew Chafin is one of the best relievers available, and showed his worth in both leagues in 2021.

He opened the year with the Chicago Cubs, with which he pitched 39.1 innings of a 2.06 ERA.

He was then traded to the Oakland A’s around the deadline and was even better, with a 1.53 ERA in 29.1 frames.

Overall, he had a 1.83 ERA between the two teams.

His 3.30 career ERA certifies his status as a solid relief arm, and he is left-hander, which is a nice bonus for every bullpen.

Chafin is a solid arm that would fit in nicely in what the Angels are trying to do.

He is needed there to help protect late leads, something that was an issue last season.

 

1. Carlos Rodon

At the moment, the Angels’ rotation is headlined by Shohei Ohtani, and also has Syndergaard, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Lorenzen, and Reid Detmers.

The group is solid, but one more established, young starter with upside would take it to top-10 status.

For years, the Angels’ problem has been pitching, and if they are try to revert the situation, they should go all-in and bring in the best starter available.

Unless they can lure Clayton Kershaw away from the Los Angeles Dodgers, that pitcher is Carlos Rodon.

The former Chicago White Sox hurler would have been a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the AL with enough innings.

Injuries limited him to 132.2 innings, but he had an impressive 2.37 ERA thanks to career-high fastball velocity that unlocked lots of strikeouts and helped him cut his walks.

Both his 34.6 percent strikeout rate and his 6.7 percent walk rate were career-bests.

Signing Rodon would help the Angels become serious contenders in the AL West, if they aren’t already.



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