The annual MLB Winter Meetings begin on Sunday in San Diego, Calif. and the Los Angeles Angels have some more work to do despite doing much of their heavy lifting already.
General manager Perry Minasian has already added All-Star pitcher Tyler Anderson, slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela to his roster, but they also watched the division rival Texas Rangers come away with one of free agency’s biggest prizes in Jacob deGrom, the Seattle Mariners bring in Kolten Wong, and the defending World Series champion Houston Astros still have their core, so work remains for the Angels.
Thankfully for Minasian, the core of the club is already in place and features two of the best players in the sport, so he has the opportunity to look for the right players rather than just bringing in guys to fill needs.
Although they might not address their remaining needs during the Winter Meetings, the groundwork for many deals that come later are often made during this time.
Angels free agents
Angels top priorities
Starting pitching: The Angels rotation is in a strong place with Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, José Suarez and Anderson, but they need to add at least one more arm, and preferably a right-hander with four of their top five pitchers being southpaws. They can explore both the free agent and trade market, and Michael Lorenzen returning would make some sense, but it’s unlikely they will sign any of the top free agent pitchers available. Perhaps a trade with Jo Adell for a starter would make some sense with three outfielders ahead of him and Ohtani at designated hitter.
Relief pitching: The bullpen is a need for every team, but it’s arguably the biggest need for the Angels. They lack both true high-leverage arms and depth, so adding here is a priority with Major League and Minor League signings. They could target some of the higher-end relievers who could close games, such as Kenley Jansen, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle or Michael Fulmer, and they need to bring in quality middle relievers as well.
Shortstop: While Andrew Velazquez played a quality shortstop last season and they have multiple other options for the position, including David Fletcehr and Gio Urshela, the shortstop position provides the easiest path to upgrade their offense, which Minasian is aware needs more help. There are four star free agent shortstops available, but it’s unlikely the Angels will be involved in the bidding for them. Going the trade route makes the most sense, and the Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson would be an intriguing addition.
Winter Meetings schedule
Sunday, Dec. 4: Winter Meetings begin in San Diego, Calif.
Sunday, Dec. 4: The Hall of Fame’s Contemporary Baseball Era voting results are announced on MLB Network at 5 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 5: All-MLB Team is announced.
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Inaugural Draft Lottery is held. American and National League Relievers of the year announced.
Wednesday, Dec. 7: The Rule 5 Draft takes place. It was canceled last season due to the MLB lockout.
Wednesday, Dec. 7: Winter Meetings end.