The Los Angeles Angels are always looking for starting pitching. Despite strides by a young core of starters, there’s always a need for reliable arms that have a proven track record of success. That’s most likely the reason that the Angels became a last minute “mystery team” trying to acquire Max Scherzer at the MLB trade deadline.
There had been no smoke linking the Angels to Scherzer prior to the hours before the deadline as the team focused on selling their valuable assets. However, the need is clearly there, as Scherzer is one of baseball’s best pitchers. Despite his advanced age, he has remained a trusted ace and won a 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals.
While the Nationals ultimately dealt Scherzer — and Trea Turner — to the L.A. Dodgers, the Angels could reportedly be in the mix to land Scherzer when he hits free agency this winter, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
The Angels may be a big player for Max Scherzer in winter as I just said on @MLBNetwork. It could be an LA-LA showdown. Even on outskirts of race, they looked into him as a rental so it makes sense they’d cover him as a free agent. And based on his trade list he clearly likes LA!
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 12, 2021
The Angels and Scherzer as a pairing may not jump off the page the way the Dodgers do, but it arguably makes more sense. Scherzer would not only provide the Angels with an ace that they’ve been searching for, but he could also serve as a mentor for the young pitchers currently on the roster.
Patrick Sandoval, Jaime Barria, Jose Suarez, Reid Detmers, Chris Rodriguez, and even Shohei Ohtani could all learn valuable lessons from one of the game’s best starters.
Scherzer’s price tag will be high, of course, but the Angels have never shied away from spending. It would also be a short-term deal, as the Dodgers star is 37 years old and will turn 38 midway through the 2022 season.
Perry Minasian will still look at pitching
Angels general manager Perry Minasian was not shy when discussing the potential of adding pitching this winter. He said that the growth of his young pitchers has been wonderful, but he won’t stop trying to add pitching, noting that volatility with arms is always a possibility.