The Los Angeles Angels have been one of the most aggressive teams this offseason as they look to improve their roster and return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The Angels thus far have signed All-Star starting pitcher Tyler Anderson, reliever Carlos Estévez and infielder Brandon Drury, while acquiring slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela in trades.
The Angels are already on track to have the highest payroll in their history next season but continue to indicate they will make more moves. The team has been targeting starting pitching and reportedly had an interest in signing Nathan Eovaldi and Corey Kluber.
Both players went elsewhere, however, as Eovaldi joined his hometown Texas Rangers and Kluber inked a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, many free agents have opted against signing with California teams this winter:
The Angels looked into Nathan Eovaldi, but it’s no surprise Eovaldi went home to Texas. There’s been a lot of that this year. California wasn’t viewed as a destination by many players. One frustrated exec said, “I’m running into that a lot.”
While a reason wasn’t given, it can be presumed that California isn’t an appealing destination for free agents because of the state’s income tax rate of 13.3%. That’s the highest mark in the country, whereas other states like Florida and Texas don’t have an income tax.
The San Francisco Giants are perhaps the best example of players not wanting to sign with a California team as they were strongly connected to top free agents Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, only to watch both of them go elsewhere.
The Giants reportedly had an agreement in place with Correa before the team expressed concerns over his physical and backed out of the deal. Correa has since agreed to terms with the New York Mets, but the signing is still not official due to similar worries over his health.
So far the only California team to make a major splash has been the San Diego Padres with their signing of Xander Bogaerts, but his 11-year, $280 million deal has been considered an overpay by many.
The Angels have not had many issues with recruiting players, which is especially impressive when considering owner Arte Moreno is actively trying to sell the team.
Perry Minasian: Angels can still improve pitching staff
Despite missing out on Eovaldi and Kluber, Angels general manager Perry Minasian is confident he will be able to make further additions to the pitching staff.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!