The Angels have already been fairly active in the early stages of the offseason, acquiring outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Tigers last week and re-signing Andrew Bailey to a one-year deal earlier today. There’s still plenty of work left for GM Billy Eppler and his staff, however. Here’s the latest on the Halos…
- Eppler feels that adding a catcher this offseason would be more of a “luxury” than a priority, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. On paper, catching help certainly looks like an area of potential need for the Angels, who will enter the 2017 season with the inexperienced Jett Bandy as their primary backstop. Eppler’s comments seem to downplay the possibility of a notable addition, though perhaps later in the offseason, the Halos will be able to snatch up a veteran as a backup option and as a means of pushing Bandy in camp next year. As it stands, Carlos Perez is poised to serve as the backup.
- Also via Fletcher, Eppler said he plans to pursue some additional help for the starting rotation. Beyond the current starting group of Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and Ricky Nolasco, the Halos have an opening in the fifth spot in the rotation. “I think we’ll be presented an opportunity to add to that group, add to that population,” said Eppler. “Unless it completely falls apart we will be able to supplement that.” The GM went on to state that the ideal candidate would be both durable and flexible, prompting Fletcher to speculate on the possibility of adding someone such as Doug Fister, who has started and relieved in recent years. Fletcher also notes that free agent Ivan Nova has strong ties to Eppler, having come up through the Yankees’ system while Eppler was in their front office.
- Another option in the rotation could be right-hander J.C. Ramirez, who posted a 2.91 ERA in 46 1/3 innings of relief for the Angels in 2016 but will be tried out as a starting pitcher in Spring Training, tweets Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. Ramirez doesn’t come with much of a track record and has been primarily a two-pitch pitcher (fastball, slider), though he showed good control (2.5 BB/9) and impressive ground-ball tendencies (54.1 percent) with the Halos in 2016. Ramirez also started 127 games as a minor leaguer, so he’s handled the workload of a starter in the past, averaging 143 innings per season from 2009-11.