The Los Angeles Angels have been — at some point this offseason — tied to nearly every free agent available. The rumors stem from a combination of Perry Minasian’s insistence that the Angels are buyers, not sellers, as well as the $50 million remaining in spending room before the first luxury tax threshold for Arte Moreno. This has led the Angels to reportedly enter the discussion for Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger found his footing in 2023 with the Cubs after one of the most fascinating year-to-year declines with the L.A. Dodgers. Bellinger won the National League MVP award in 2019, then proceeded to post OPS’ of .542 and .654 in 2021 and 2022 respectively. The Dodgers did not tender him a contract for 2023 and he made his way to Chicago, where he slashed .307/.356/.525 and won a Silver Slugger in the outfield.
His free agency has been shockingly quiet, as it was assumed that he would ultimately find his way back to Chicago after testing the market. But as time passes, it appears the Angels are getting in on the negotiations with Bellinger and agent Scott Boras, according to David Vassegh of Dodger Talk:
“I know many people assume that it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s gonna sign with the Cubs. And that may eventually happen, but from what I’m being told the Angels have interest in Cody Bellinger and have had discussions with Scott Boras about Cody Bellinger.
“And we all know Arte Moreno, the Angels owner, when he spends big he spends big on offense. And the Angels do need a left-handed hitting outfielder. So it does make sense especially if they can move him between first base and center field the way the Cubs did with Bellinger, that he would be a very valuable piece for him.”
Bellinger would be a massive addition to the Angels lineup if he performs at the level he did in 2023. He would not only slot in as a perfect middle-of-the-order bat behind Mike Trout, he would also allow Trout to spend more time in the corner of the outfield and in the designated hitter spot by taking elite defensive rps in center field.
The Angels are, on paper, a perfect fit. But it comes down to if Arte Moreno is willing to shell out another big contract to a position player with an inconsistent past. Regardless, it adds another layer of intrigue to an already fascinating winter in Anaheim.
Former Angels 1B Jared Walsh signs with Rangers
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