On a wild Sunday night in Major League Baseball, some of the top pitchers on the market found potential homes with new teams. The Angels made a much smaller move, bringing in Michael Lorenzen on a one-year deal, but they remain in the market for a top starter.
Kevin Gausman, Max Scherzer, and Jon Gray were all rumored to be in the Angels’ sights, but all three are reportedly signing elsewhere. Gausman is going to the Toronto Blue Jays, Gray to the Texas Rangers, and Scherzer landed a mega-deal with the New York Mets.
It appears that none of these pitchers were ever the top target of the Angels. Robbie Ray, the AL Cy Young winner from the Blue Jays, remains within the team’s crosshairs, even if it may take some time before Ray picks his next team, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 29, 2021
This is nowhere near the first time that Ray and the Angels have been linked. In fact, just the night before, it was reported that Ray was No. 1 on the Angels free agent wishlist, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Moreno might wait for the outcome of the collective bargaining agreement before deciding how much he wants to spend. If that turns out to be the case, the question is how many Angels targets still will be available when the lockout is over. The Angels had interest in Gray at the deadline, and for now, Ray remains atop their wish list.
The first line of the above segment could explain why the Angels haven’t had a formal meeting with Ray. The CBA is set to expire on December 1, and teams are running out of time to agree to deals before a likely lockout.
With Ray reportedly not close to a decision, it’s possible that the two sides agreed to wait until after the lockout to meet and negotiate. This way, Ray can continue to monitor the starting pitcher market while the Angels make smaller moves like adding Lorenzen.
Ray is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers on the market, so the Angels being laser-focused on him makes complete sense. Now, we’ll see what comes of this when a new CBA is agreed to in the coming weeks.
Part of the reason for the mad dash of signings on Sunday and Monday is because of the impending lockout. The current CBA is set to expire on Dec. 1, and with no resolution, it appears the owners will go into a lockout until a new CBA can be agreed to.
In that time, there will be no negotiations and deals agreed to.