Angels GM Billy Eppler downplayed the possibility of a late-spring rotation addition, as Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group writes. It seems the organization is content with its existing options entering the season.
The indication for some time has been that the Halos have already pushed their payroll to the max this winter. Previously, the team inked Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill to short-term but reasonably expensive contracts.
New elbow woes for southpaw Andrew Heaney won’t change the team’s stance, despite the ongoing presence of Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez on the free-agent market. For one thing, Eppler says, doctors haven’t identified any structural concerns in or around Heaney’s elbow. For another, he adds, the club already has “starters we are comfortable with.”
That statement doesn’t close the door on a move, though it hardly suggests that the organization is suddenly free to spend more to bring in a pricey hurler. And it seems the Halos won’t be rushing to make a cheaper deal with one of the other free agent hurlers still waiting for a job, either.
So, should Eppler be comfortable with what’s on hand? Righty Nick Tropeano is nearing a resumption of mound work but won’t be ready for the start of the season, putting him in much the same situation as Heaney. That leaves Jaime Barria, Felix Pena, and Dillon Peters battling for two openings, Fletcher suggests. There’s an argument that all three could be at least passable back-of-the-rotation options, though the Halos may need more than that if they’re to keep pace with a loaded Astros team.