Free agent reliever Shane Greene was — at one time — one of the most sought after bullpen arms in the MLB. At his peak, Greene was traded from the Detroit Tigers to Perry Minasian and the Atlanta Braves, where he saw his numbers fall off somewhat. Now, he remains available for teams like the Los Angeles Angels to sign, even as the season continues without him.
The Angels, now led by Minasian, were one of the most active teams in the days leading up to the 2021 season. They signed Tony Watson and Steve Cishek to one-year deals, traded for James Hoyt who is now at the alternate training site, and they called up Chris Rodriguez to make his MLB debut.
With all of this bullpen movement, a Greene and Minasian reunion would have made a lot of sense. Reportedly, the Angels tried to make it happen, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Before supplementing their bullpen with the signings of right-hander Steve Cishek and lefty Tony Watson to one-year, $1 million contracts, the Angels made a run at righty Shane Greene, who remains a free agent.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian is familiar with Greene from their time together with the Braves. But Greene, 32, obviously wanted more than the Angels were willing to pay. His ERA in 90 1/3 innings the past two seasons is 2.39, but his strikeout and groundball rates are relatively modest, evidently limiting his market.
The Angels gave Watson and Cishek a combined $2 million, meaning they didn’t want to break than bank for a last minute signing. While Greene is certainly worth more than those two pitchers, it’s clear there was a disconnect as to what his value truly is.
The longer Greene remains a free agent, it’s more likely that his value decreases unless a team suddenly has a desperate need for a bullpen arm of his caliber. It was not reported how much the Angels offered, but it was not enough to land his services.
In the early part of the 2021 season, the Angels bullpen is holding strong with some exceptions. Rodriguez, Cishek, Watson, Aaron Slegers, and others have been solid, and it’s helping the Angels win close games.
David Fletcher happy that close games are going Angels way
One of the things the Angels can point to and prove the success of their bullpen is close games. Out of nine games this season, six games have been separated by three runs or less, and the Halos have won five of them.
This is a very positive development for an Angels team that led the entire MLB in blown saves in 2020. David Fletcher was particularly excited, saying it finally feels like things are starting to fall in their favor.