MLB

State of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have had an interesting offseason. They have made quite a few moves and are capable of surprising some people in a weakened AL West. So for this piece, we examine the state of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Trading for Dexter Fowler

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have traded for Dexter Fowler for cash considerations or the infamous “player to be named later.” This move is an interesting one for the Angels, as many would say their outfield is set. Having Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Jo Adell. However, Adell has yet to prove himself truly. And Justin Upton is a streaky player at the best of times. So bringing in another outfielder can only serve to help the Angels in their quest back to the postseason.

Trading for Alex Cobb

Much like trading for Fowler, the Angels would make a trade for Alex Cobb for depth. The Angels will likely be employing a 6-man (or possibly 7-man) rotation to accommodate Shohei Ohtani, and thus more starters are needed. That’s why a move like Alex Cobb makes so much sense for the Halos. Add that the Angels are only paying $5 of the $15 Million that’s owed to Cobb in 2020, which sweetens the deal even more.

Signing Jose Quintana

We covered the Quintana signing in more detail on the Laracuente Ledger Network. But when it comes to Quintana, this is a great pickup for the Angels. A one-year $8 million deal is honestly a steal for a guy capable of pitching in the front half of the rotation. There are questions about the Halos starters and their ability to stay healthy. But if they remain healthy, the Angels are poised to take advantage.

Signing Kurt Suzuki

Now the signing of Kurt Suzuki was discussed on the relaunched episode of the Laracuente Ledger Podcast. But essentially, the signing of Kurt Suzuki gives the Angels a better than league average offensive catcher. However, defense is sacrificed with Suzuki. The Suzuki signing is a one-year term for $1.5 million. Catching was a need for the Angels as they only had two catchers on their 40-man roster. Bringing in Kurt Suzuki aids the Halos and lengthens their lineup.

Trading for Jose Iglesias

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were going to need a shortstop. As the departure of the defensive wizard, Andrelton Simmons was expected. So the Angels would make a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, their new favorite trade partner. The exchange of the deal would send a pair of Minor League right-handers back to Baltimore. Adding Iglesias gives the Halos a solid defender back at short.

State of the Rotation

As previously mentioned, the likelihood of the LA Angels using a 6-man rotation is great. Having Shohei Ohtani as a member of the rotation means that more starters must be used in order to fill out the necessary innings of work. Ohtani will be on an innings limit and will likely only pitch once a week. Bringing in additional starters like Quintana and Cobb to go along with Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, and others will only help the rotation. For the Angels, the starting rotation may not have the biggest and brightest names. But for the Halos, it will be a quantitative approach for success.

State of the Bullpen

The Los Angeles Angels bullpen has an interesting mix of arms. Pitchers like Alex Claudio, Raisel Iglesias, and Ty Buttrey are just some of the pen’s valuable arms. The Angels could pursue another arm from the open market to help add more strength to the bullpen. But if they decide to stand pat, for now, they should be able to handle the rigors of a full 162 game Major League season fairly well. 

State of the Offense

There’s very little debate at this moment about the fact that the Angels have THE BEST PLAYER IN MLB, in Mike Trout! And last offseason added one of the most underrated players in MLB, in Anthony Rendon. Now offensively speaking, outside of those two players, there are some questions. As previously mentioned, Justin Upton is a very streaky ballplayer capable of being the world’s hottest hitter one week and falling off the radar, like Pluto no longer being a planet. And Jo Adell hasn’t had enough to mature quite yet as a Major League offensive force. But should things break the right way for the Halos, they could find themselves competing with a weakened AL West Division. 

State of the Defense

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are not going to be considered a great defensive team by any stretch of the imagination. The one position that was a premium strength left with Andrelton Simmons. However, this team should be capable of handling the routine plays fairly well. And once in a while, making a spectacular play. 

Final Thoughts on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

When it comes to the Angels, there are some questions to be asked. What can reasonably be expected out of Albert Pujols? Will this be the season Mike Trout hits the wall and begins his downward spiral to normalism? Can a 6-man rotation work? All are legitimate questions to be asked. But the real question is, have the Angels done enough to surpass the A’s and Astros? That is a question we will have to wait for an answer to in 2021. There are things to like about this team, and both the A’s and Astros have lost key players, weakening their lineups. But there are still things to dislike about this team because there’s a give and take of each season. So we’ll have to wait and see how the season plays out. 

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