Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian was not discrete when discussing the team’s needs in free agency. Pitching was the first, second, and third priority, and it shows in the moves they’ve already made. They’ve committed $28.5 million in 2022 to starter Noah Syndergaard and reliever Aaron Loup.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to fill their hole at shortstop, they’ve made minor moves like adding Andrew Velazquez and Tyler Wade. As they near the $180 million payroll mark that they paid in 2021, Minasian has hinted a number of times that this may be the year Arte Moreno allows his general manager to exceed that number.
If he does, Minasian knows that even more pitching is the only way to spend that money, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“We’re definitely pursuing other arms,” Minasian said. “We feel like there’s ways to improve both from an impactful standpoint and depth standpoint. That’s a given. That’s every day, basically all day.”
Minasian made this statement after signing Loup to a two-year, $17 million deal, saying that Moreno and the ownership group may be willing to break open the bank to help the team win this season.
“We have an ownership group that wants to compete and wants to win, so I would not rule anything out,” Minasian said.
There are still plenty of impactful starters and relievers on the market. Among the relievers is Angels free agent Raisel Iglesias. Minasian remains confident that the Halos will eventually bring him back, saying that the Loup deal was not meant to take the place of the closer position.
Meanwhile, Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, Alex Cobb, Carlos Rodon, and plenty of others remain available. The Angels would absolutely love to land one of the listed players and have already been tied to Scherzer, Gausman, Ray, Stroman, and Cobb.
There also figures to be a very robust trade market for starting pitchers this winter, although that may have to wait until after a potential lockout at the beginning of December.
All of this is to say that the Angels know their work is not finished. Signing one starter and one reliever is a great first step, but it won’t vault L.A. into World Series contention. Only a complete overhaul of the pitching staff can do that.
Steven Matz chooses Cardinals over Angels
The Angels were one of eight teams to submit an offer for the services of Steven Matz, a middle of the rotation starter coming off of his best season in the Majors. However, he chose to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals on a four-year, $44 million deal.