Angels Have ‘Engaged in Discussions’ With Several Starting Pitching Options
MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are in a precarious situation as they approach the rest of the 2023-24 offseason. Shohei Ohtani has agreed to sign with the L.A. Dodgers, leaving the Angels with nothing more than a compensatory draft pick after the second round. Now, they have to pivot if they plan to put together a competitive roster in 2024.

General manager Perry Minasian committed towards building a better team this offseason, that stance also includes the understanding they could be with several young starters around their lineup.

However, with several spots still on the starting roster that need addressing, the rotation is one that lacks a front-end arm. Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shōta Imanaga are all names still out there, and Minasian is remaining very active in his pursuit, per Fabian Ardaya and Sam Blum of The Athletic:

The Angels have scanned and engaged in discussions on multiple fronts over a wide variety of starting pitchers, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. That has included targets such as Cleveland Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes and Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow, among others.

Corbin Burnes is the best of the rumored bunch, but he would be pitching on a one-year deal and would command a massive prospect haul to acquire. This puts the Angels in a tough spot on the trade front, with Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber more realistic options, who would still cost a good bit.

The positive in those deals is Angels owner Arte Moreno’s willingness to spend, and with them getting under the collective bargaining tax from 2023, they could afford to dip back in to the high payroll area.

Which options best fit the Angels among rumored starting pitchers

Among the listed names whom the Angels should go after, top fits would be none of them. Unless they can sign Snell, their best route would be to wait until next season on the free agent market to hand out a large contract to a starter.

There are several names, Lucas Giolito, James Paxton, Martin Perez, who could be had for lesser contracts, but would still provide innings for the Angels.

Giolito was a big get for them last season, but didn’t pan out. He might want to reset his market, banking on a resurgent season. Perez, Paxton, are a pair of veteran left-handers who will command multi-year deals, but for a manageable rate in the low-to-mid range.

Michael Wacha is another interesting option, who posted great success with the San Diego Padres in 2023, posting a 3.22 ERA, with a 1.16 WHIP in 134.1 innings pitched (24 starts).

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