The Angels were at Kyle Lohse’s recent showcase, Jon Heyman writes (Twitter links). Heyman also notes that they have considered Tim Lincecum, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle and others had previously noted.
There’s no indication yet that the Angels’ interest in either player is serious, although their connection to two veteran starters is still worth noting, given their apparent need for rotation help. Angels starters Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney both have UCL damage, and Richards, at least, will require Tommy John surgery. The injuries leave the Angels’ rotation thin, and as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times points out, the Angels’ trades of prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis last season and their poorly rated farm system will make it difficult to trade for a good starting pitcher.
That leaves them as logical suitors for pitchers like Lohse and Lincecum who remain on the free agent market. Lohse, who had a showcase yesterday, posted a 5.85 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in an ugly 2015 season with Milwaukee but was reasonably successful in the four seasons prior to that. What Lincecum might be able to contribute as he returns from hip surgery is unclear, but he’s still fairly young, at 31, and was once a superstar.
With Richards, Heaney and C.J. Wilson unavailable, the Angels’ rotation currently consists of Jered Weaver, Hector Santiago and Nick Tropeano. Cory Rasmus, normally a reliever, started Friday night, although he allowed five runs over just 2 1/3 innings. Nate Smith or Matt Shoemaker, both currently with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, could also be candidates to take big-league starts, as DiGiovanna notes. Tyler Skaggs is also on a rehab assignment with the Bees, although he was shut down two weeks ago with biceps tendinitis and has not pitched since.