Faria looked like a potential long-term rotation piece with the Rays back in 2017. He broke into the league with 86.2 innings of 3.43 ERA/4.12 FIP ball that season. He couldn’t build upon that success the following year, however. Faria’s strikeout and walk rates each went in the wrong direction and he struggled to a 5.40 ERA in 2018. He was bumped into a bullpen role in a 2019 season split between Tampa Bay and Milwaukee but continued to struggle. The Brewers didn’t bring him back to the majors in 2020, releasing him in September.
Recent struggles notwithstanding, there’s little risk for the Angels in giving the 27-year-old another opportunity. Throughout his MLB career, Faria has generated whiffs at nearly a league average rate. His fastball velocity ticked up from 92.2 MPH in 2018 to 93.7 MPH the following season thanks to his bullpen conversion. Faria could plausibly compete for a job as a starter or as a reliever for a Los Angeles club perennially on the hunt for pitching. There’s not a ton of certainty behind Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning in the rotation. The Angels also non-tendered five relievers earlier this week, so they’ll surely be on the hunt for bullpen help this winter.
In addition to the Angels, Faria drew the attention of one of his former clubs. The Rays had interest in bringing him back on a minor-league deal. It seems a tougher road to crack the major league pitching staff in Tampa Bay, though, likely factoring into Faria’s decision to instead sign with L.A. The right-hander is also a Southern California native, and he’ll now look to return to the majors with his hometown club.