Instead of the big splashes they sought in previous offseasons, the Angels opted to spread their resources around to various mid-market additions. When combined with the star power already present on the roster, the club is in good position to be competitive for 2023, though they will have to avoid falling short of expectations again. Beyond this year, there is much uncertainty. Owner Arte Moreno is no longer pursuing a sale of the club, but Shohei Ohtani’s free agency is now just about eight months away.
Major League Signings
- LHP Tyler Anderson: three years, $39MM
- IF/OF Brandon Drury: two years, $17MM
- RHP Carlos Estévez: two years, $13.5MM
- LHP Matt Moore: one year, $7.55MM
- OF Brett Phillips: one year, $1.2MM
- RHP Justin Garza, one year, non-guaranteed split contract
2022 spending: $37MM
Total spending: $78.25MM
Trades And Claims
- Acquired INF Gio Urshela from Twins for RHP Alejandro Hidalgo.
- Acquired OF Hunter Renfroe from Brewers for LHP Adam Seminaris and RHPs Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero.
Notable Minor League Signees
- Ryan Aguilar, Aaron Whitefield, Nash Walters, Jake Lamb, Jhonathan Diaz, Jacob Webb, Jonathan Holder, Chad Wallach, Chris Devenski, César Valdez, Fernando Romero, Kevin Padlo, José Godoy, Cam Vieaux, Gerardo Reyes, Luis Barrera, Taylor Jones
- Michael Lorenzen, Archie Bradley, Touki Toussaint, Matt Duffy, Kurt Suzuki (retired), Hidalgo, Seminaris, Junk, Peguero, Oliver Ortega, Rob Zastryzny
The Angels have made plenty of big splashes over the past decade or so, signing marquee players like Albert Pujols, Anthony Rendon and Josh Hamilton, as well as acquiring and extending Justin Upton. When combined with Mike Trout and Ohtani, there’s been no shortage of stars in Anaheim. But a lack of depth for injuries has often prevented the club from capitalizing on all that talent. Their last winning season was 2015 and their last postseason appearance was the year prior to that. This offseason, they seemed to try a different tack, signing three different players to modest multi-year deals, as well as a few one-year contracts and trades for players with one year of remaining control.
The first significant move was signing left-hander Tyler Anderson. The 33-year-old was hurt for much of the early part of his career, only reaching the 115-inning mark once by the end of 2020. He then had a healthy and decent season in 2021, posting a 4.53 ERA over 167 innings between the Pirates and Mariners. After signing with the Dodgers for 2022, he went on to have easily the best season of his career. He logged 178 2/3 innings, a career high, and also got his ERA all the way down to 2.57. His 19.5% strikeout rate and 40.1% ground ball rate were both a few ticks shy of average, but he kept runners off the basepaths with a tiny 4.8% walk rate.
Based on that strong season, the Dodgers extended a $19.65MM qualifying offer to him. That must have proved pretty tempting for Anderson, considering he made $8MM in 2022 and was never higher than $2.5MM in any season prior to that. However, before his decision window was even up, the Angels swooped in and gave him a three-year, $39MM deal. That was a big development for the club, as the last time they gave a multi-year deal to a free-agent starter was a two-year deal for Joe Blanton going into 2013. There’s some risk here for the Angels, as Anderson’s track record of success is not long. He was also likely helped by a .256 batting average on balls in play last year, but his 3.31 FIP and 4.04 SIERA still indicate he’s a fine addition to the middle of their rotation.
The starting rotation has often been one of the weaker points of the roster in Anaheim, though that might not be the case this year. The club had some young pitchers take steps forward last year and seem positioned to go into 2023 on strong footing there. Back in September, MLBTR’s Steve Adams looked at the developments of lefties Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers and Jose Suarez. Sandoval finished the year with a 2.91 ERA over 27 starts, Suarez a 3.96 over 20 starts and two relief outings, and Detmers a 3.77 ERA over 25 starts.
Those three lefties figure to be in the club’s Opening Day rotation alongside Anderson and Ohtani, giving them a solid front five. The club has gone with a six-man rotation in recent years in order to lighten Ohtani’s overall workload, but that might not be the case this year. Manager Phil Nevin recently suggested they could go with a five-man group for much of the year, only occasionally leaning on a swingman when needed. Ohtani had Tommy John in October 2018, which wiped out his 2019 and most of his 2020. He got up to 130 1/3 innings in 2021 and then 166 last year. Perhaps he could push himself even farther this year, lessening the need for a strict sixth starter. Pitcher injuries are fairly inevitable, however, and the club will eventually need to turn to another starter. Options on the 40-man include Tucker Davidson, Griffin Canning, Chase Silseth and Chris Rodriguez.
In addition to adding Anderson to the rotation, the club also bolstered its bullpen with right-hander Carlos Estévez and left-hander Matt Moore. Estévez has been on a good run over the past four years, outside of a rough showing in the shortened 2020 season. Since the start of 2019, he’s made 223 appearances with a 4.28 ERA, 23.9% strikeout rate, 8.2% walk rate and 38.4% ground ball rate. Considering he played his home games at Coors Field and posted a 7.50 ERA in 2020, that’s a pretty good stretch on the whole, and the velocity on his heater and woeful results against his offspeed pitches in 2022 could point to further upside.
As for Moore, his attempts to continue as a starter didn’t go well in recent years, posting an overall 5.26 ERA from 2015 to 2021. But a full-time move to the bullpen last year seemed to suit him, as he tossed 74 innings with a 1.95 ERA, 27.3% strikeout rate, 12.5% walk rate and 43.9% ground ball rate. He likely won’t sustain a .257 batting average on balls in play or 81.1% strand rate, but his 2.98 FIP and 3.69 SIERA still point to a solid season overall.
Estévez might jump into the closer’s role that was vacated when the Halos dealt Raisel Iglesias to Atlanta at last year’s deadline. However, he could have some competition from Jimmy Herget, who seemed to have a breakout last year. Herget took over the closer’s role with Iglesias gone, finishing the year with nine saves and a 2.48 ERA. Estévez, Herget and Moore should be joined at the back end of the club’s bullpen by veteran holdovers Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup.
On the position player side of things, the Angels made three key upgrades. Gio Urshela was added to the infield, Hunter Renfroe to the outfield, while Brandon Drury can potentially help in both areas. Urshela was acquired from the Twins so that Minnesota can make way for younger players like José Miranda. He struggled in 2021 but has been an above-average hitter in three of the past four years. In 2022, Urshela hit 13 home runs and slashed .285/.338/.429 for a wRC+ of 119. He mostly played third base but has also seen some brief time at the other infield positions in his career. He’ll allow the club to manage Rendon’s workload after he has missed significant time over the past two years.
If both players are healthy and productive, perhaps Urshela is moved around the diamond. First base is a bit of a question mark right now after Jared Walsh required surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last year. The middle infield is also a bit uncertain based on 2022. Luis Rengifo was slightly above average at the plate but was graded poorly on defense at both middle infield spots. David Fletcher was the opposite, getting good marks for his glovework but suffering through a rough year at the plate.
Urshela could potentially take some playing time away from any of those players, as could Drury. The well-traveled utilityman has occasionally shown flashes of talent throughout his career but could never quite put it together, often due to injuries. However, 2022 was the year everything finally clicked for Drury. Between the Reds and the Padres, he hit 28 home runs and produced a .263/.320/.492 batting line for a 123 wRC+. He also continued to be incredibly versatile, spending time at all four infield positions. He only had one inning in the outfield last year but has a tally of 965 2/3 frames out there in his career. The middle infield picture is murky but they have six players for four spots on the infield overall in Rendon, Walsh, Drury, Urshela, Fletcher and Rengifo. Even if a couple of them are hurt or underperforming, they could still be okay given that most of them can play multiple positions. Walsh could also spend some time in the outfield, if need be.
Speaking of the outfield, the club parted with Brandon Marsh at last year’s deadline and saw continued struggles from Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak. They already had two spots spoken for with Trout and Taylor Ward, but added a third reliable option in Renfroe. His power is his only standout tool but he’s certainly strong in that department. He’s hit 60 home runs over the past two seasons, while providing defense around an average level. His walk and strikeout rates have also been roughly in line with league averages. He’ll add some thump to the lineup without really hurting elsewhere.
Between Anderson, Estévez, Moore, Urshela, Drury and Renfroe, the club has supplemented their rotation, bullpen, infield and outfield. On the whole, it’s a nice series of additions that don’t totally remake the club but nonetheless decreases the chance of a few injuries totally tanking the season. They’ve also made few long-term commitments, as Anderson’s deal is the longest at three years. Drury and Estévez are on the books through 2024 while Moore, Urshela and Renfroe are all impending free agents. The acquisition costs for both Urshela and Renfroe were low because of their limited control and arbitration salaries around the eight-figure mark. They also added Brett Phillips on a one-year deal to serve as an outfielder who can provide some speed and defense off the bench.
One area of the roster the club didn’t address was catcher. They were linked to Willson Contreras in the offseason before he signed with the Cardinals, but they ultimately decided to stick with in-house options. The primary candidates for big league playing time are Max Stassi and Logan O’Hoppe. Stassi has been considered a strong defender behind the plate and seemed to take a step forward with the bat over 2020 and 2021. Unfortunately, he took a big step back last year, hitting .180/.267/.303. His strong run in the previous two years landed him an extension that runs through 2024, but he’ll now have to jockey for playing time with O’Hoppe. The youngster came over from the Phillies in the Marsh trade and had a tremendous season. Between the two organizations, he hit .283/.416/.544 in Double-A last year for a 159 wRC+. He still has no Triple-A experience, but O’Hoppe was a top-100 prospect who got a major league call-up late last year and seems poised to stick in the big leagues. Should he struggle and require some more time in the minors, the Angels also have Matt Thaiss on the 40-man and some non-roster invitees.
All in all, the Angels are going into the season with no glaring holes. There’s some uncertainty here and there, but many fallback options all over what looks to be a deep roster. The greater uncertainty is when looking at things from a distance. Owner Arte Moreno announced in August that he would explore a sale of the team, but then a further announcement in January revealed he had backed off of that pursuit. That gets rid of the uncertainty about the ownership question but that development hasn’t been viewed favorably by all, as Moreno is a divisive figure among the club’s fans. On the one hand, he’s frequently signed off on aggressive payrolls as the club aims to build a competitive teaam around Trout. On the other hand, he has a reputation for meddling in baseball decisions in a way that hasn’t served the club well.
The plan for the manager’s chair will also have to be figured out going forward. Joe Maddon was fired in June. Phil Nevin took over an interim basis and inked a one-year extension in October, so he’ll stick around for 2023. The club was for sale at that time and it was seen by many as a stopgap hire, with a more long-term plan getting kicked down the road until a new owner was in place, either with Nevin or some other skipper. Now that the sale is off, the Angels will have to figure out if Nevin is their guy or if they feel the need to look elsewhere.
The Angels will surely be hoping that this is the year Trout and Ohtani finally get to play in the playoffs together, but it won’t be a cakewalk. They are still looking up at the reigning World Series champion Astros as the heavyweight in the division. On top of that, the Mariners are fresh off breaking their own postseason drought, while the Rangers have been incredibly aggressive in their own attempts to return to contention.
If things don’t go according to plan and the Angels fall shy of contention yet again, they would be positioned to reload for the future in a big way at the deadline. As mentioned, Renfroe, Urshela and Moore are all impending free agents, as is Tepera and, of course, Ohtani. If he were to be made available, he would be among the most attractive deadline trade candidates in history. The club could always sign him to an extension that locks him up for the rest of his career, but there’s been little to suggest such a deal is close to a reality. The two-way superstar has expressed his desire to win, and a strong season from the club could potentially increase the chances of keeping him around. However, by the time that comes to fruition, he would be so close to the open market that it would likely be harder to pull him back from the brink.
The Angels did a lot of good things to patch up their roster for 2023, but the future still seems uncertain. The upcoming campaign could be a huge pivot point for the franchise.
How would you grade the Angels’ offseason? (Link to poll)
In conjunction with the Angels’ Offseason In Review, we held a team-specific chat on March 2. Click here to read the transcript.
Moniak about to break out
I give Anaheim an “A-“ for their off-season moves.
If they have been able to swap their owner, it might have gone up to an “A+”.
Agree. They did better than most
The Angels added a middle of the rotation starter, a starting OF, and some nice depth pieces on short-term, mostly 1 year, deals. They didn’t address the top of the rotation, the back of the bullpen, or the elephant in the room – shortstop.
What they did is make sure that when injuries happen this season, and with Rendon and Walsh in the lineup that is sure to happen for a large number of games, that those injured players do not have to be replaced by below replacement level players like they were last season. There are some major league caliber players to take their place in Urshela and Drury.
They will be better than last season, but they have not made up the 14 to 15 game gap between last season’s record and a WC spot in the playoffs this season.
I just thought about it and the Angels have a TOR starter in Ohtani. Sometimes my fingers outpace my brain.
For me the biggest thing is that after 2023 Ohtani, Renfroe, Urshela, Loup, Tepera, and Moore all go away. Next offseason their GM is back in the same place as he was to start this one with even bigger holes in the lineup to fill and an owner that refuses to go over the luxury tax.
Moniak can’t play defense and hasn’t show he can hit. And will likely start the year in AAA.
Maybe he cant hit or play defense but he is a Moniak, Moniak on the floor and he’s dancing like he’s never danced before LOL
Vincent cracking himself up over here
vincente, I just want you to know that I don’t like you anymore and if I cannot get that song out of my head there will be hades to pay. LOL
In AAA? With Trout, Renfroe, and Ward starting and Phillips on the roster with no options, Moniak’s only chance will be to tear it up in AAA and hope he gets the call when there is an injury.
Websoul. And Moniak has to leapfrog Adell,
In the limited time I have seen him, Adell has looked different this spring. The swing is much different. More compact. Quieter. Simpler. He is even taking better routes to balls in play. Hopefully he can turn it around. Moniak looks like, well, Moniak.
He went to driveline . But his biggest problem is he would take hittable first strikes and then chased sliders away or unhittable sliders on the corner.
He has to be more aggressive when the count dictates and not afraid to take strikes low and away. Chances are those low and away pitches are balls, and if they are not, then just walk back to the dugout and tip your cap to the pitcher.
I do not know if he can do this, but I know he’s smart enough to know the problem.
And what does he do this AB. Gets behind and chases.
HEALTH. That’s the #1 factor for the Angels this year. If the stars can stay healthy, skies the limit for this team. That’s a big “ if “.
Agree. Trout, Ohtani and Rendon need to be healthy. They need to play together if the team is to have a chance at the playoffs.
Have to go B here. I love the Swiss Army Team approach that added quality depth all over the field.
However, if the plan is really to make noise in October the lack of a true shortstop is glaring.
Hopefully a fully healthy Fletcher can hold the spot down adequately but hoping for adequacy at a key spot isn’t a great plan.
predictions for their signings:
Anderson: completely regresses and pitches to a mid 4 era, reason: hes going from best pitching development system with dodgers to one of the worst
Drury: literally zack cozart 2.0, if you don’t get what I’m saying just look up his stats
Estevez: might be alright, being freed from Colorado but If I had to bet hes gonna fall apart cause Angels
Moore: good signing on surface, should be closer.
Phiilps: cannot hit
Urshela: hes alr but streaky
Renfroe: a accused racist by a former brewers staffer, whos probably on PEDs too
This is a D offseason at most.
Also Renfroe is a awful clubhouse presence, hence why he has been traded like 3 times over the past 3 seasons even though he’s a good hitter
Thank you for trolling on the Angels’ side. I guess things are so bad over there in Chicago you felt the need to come stir it up.
not trolling lol, whatever tho just C O P E
You’re way off base. You have no clue.
care to elobrate on how Im off? I think I’m being pretty realistic speaking
Cozart signed for 3/38. Drury 2/17. The Angels didn’t bring in any top-end talent but they didn’t break the bank with any of these acquisitions either and effectively raised their talent floor
Well, based on your ability to spell as a leading indicator of intellect on this matter, WE place little value in your commentary.
Well here goes:
Anderson is 33 and had a couple of good years. I wouldn’t call him worthless. I think they overpaid him a tad but time will tell.
I don’t know in what world Moore would be a closer but a solid signing
Estevez should be better out of Coors. Just about everybody is.
Drury- Another overpay to me, I’m not his biggest fan. Think he might have had a good season in a walk year but maybe he’s figured out something
Phillips- Yeah depth piece I think. AAAA
Urshela- Could be sneaky good. A good gamble I think
Renfroe- Huh? I’ve never heard the racist thing. Was it something he said in HS or something? He’s a major power bat who K’s a lot. MLB is full of them right now, It’s the new in thing. Certainly haven’t heard anything to make it the big deal you’re making of it.
Hope this helps?
UncleMute: too long, didnt read. Saw name, realized from prior commentary that it will be all low quality jibberish and skipped over. Congrats on wasted keystrokes. I am sure 99% of the other readers will skip as well.
Sure, here is how you’re wrong. All that is expected of these players is for them to perform at an adequate major league level. And the only one that is needed is Renfro.
The signings were made to have a plan B if Trout, Rendon or Walsh go down.
The signings were made to insure a major league player was ready in case they were needed. That’s new.
If Rendon misses 81 games, the Angels are not going to go down with him.
Clepto-I know you’re not bright at all, But in what world do you notice I wrote piece that you muted? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Clepto. You’re such a clown. Bye
ITalk Studios are youtube made a video about it, but to summarize a former brewers FO employee on brewers reddit stated that Renfroe had issues with some mintory players in the clubhouse, and overall has a awful clubhouse presence, which explains why he’s on his 5th team in 5 years, even though he’s a top of the line hitter.
Cubs win108- Well that’s it then. Everything on You Tube is true. Got it.
Yeah I’m gonna guess that guy was lying. The reason he keeps getting traded is because arbitrators value counting stats more than FOs do and Renfroe’s volatile profile
More likely there is always someone on another team who thinks they can fix him. But more realistically he is what he’ll always be. HR happy and whiffing all the way.
and overall has a awful clubhouse presence, which explains why he’s on his 5th team in 5 years,
It’s possible, but if he is a racist, and managed to keep this out of the press, I’d be shocked. They’ll be protests if you want to paint your office white.
IRT the different teams, that’s fair, but at least somewhat explainable. In 2019, he played like an AS, got hurt, and had a miserable 2nd half. Preller trades everyone anyway, but maybe Preller though he was trading high.
He was awful on TB, and not cheap. His being gone was automatic.
The RS trade was at least interesting. Again, maybe Bloom thought he was a buy low/trade high candidate.
For Anderson will nit regress. The Dodgers corrected his delivery and he added another pitch.
PM Values players character. And he wouldn’t of brought in Renfroe on he thought he was going Renfroe going to a distu
Sorry my posting got entered without my knowledge.
PM wouldn’t have brought Renfroe if he thought he was a,clubhouse cancer.
That’s the main reason he won’t touch Bauer.
Eventhough I disagree with it.
The Angels have done a good job correcting a problem they had last year when players like Rendon , Fletcher and Trout went down.
No more clean up replacements batt ING with a 140 avg.
Plus there’s going to be some recently drafted pitchers who will round out the bullpen.
The Angels should get a playoff spot in 2023.
One thing they need to do better is beat Houston and all the teams in the AL West. Esp the Stros.
Oh look it’s Clepto the resident MLBTR troll.
Winslow- Yeah beating Houston. That’s pretty optimistic. As far as the Playoffs go, I think that’s also pretty optimistic. Obviously I’ve never seen this team play a long stretch in good health( Has anybody) But if that finally happens OK I buy it. Yeah you’ve got some nice depth pieces now( About time I might add) But if you’re playing with those depth pieces it’s going to be a struggle to make the Playoffs but hey, In the spring, Everybody is going to the Playoffs right?
Yeah, I’m inclined to agree. If Renfroe is racist i have no idea how he survived a season in Boston with media everywhere and it never coming to light.
The R word is thrown around so often that it has no meaning. Did you hear what the Mayor of Chicago said after being voted out.
Lightfoot attributed her election loss to racism.
The word has no meaning anymore. It exist, but it’s used so often, and so often in meaningless situations, that I don’t even pay attention anymore.
Which is ironic since the second Mayoral candidate is also African-American
That’s all the Libs have, it could never be that she was terrible at her job!
I’m still trying to figure out: My post got entered without my knowledge. Huh? Time for a New Antivirus Me thinks. LOL
Maybe somebody in his house hit enter when he went to can?
deGrom Texas Ranger
It’s nice to know other teams get trolls too.
I gave them a B. I think they collected a couple of nice pieces. But in today’s market, especially an uber-market like LA, they should’ve spent at least another $20M of their BP. Try to raise their target from .500 to .525+. The potential for reward is there.
Bullpen is the one area the Angels have good, near MLB level talent.
Eric Torres and Ben Joyce dominated AA last year with Luke Murphy not far behind.
And we could always go Tampa Bay and introduce starters like Sam Bachman or Ky Bush to the majors as relievers.
Just have to hope the opening day bullpen does alright until the young guys start arriving.
Who is the Angels closer? Curious minds, and fantasy owners, want to know.
Esteves will start the year in the role.
They want it to be Estevez, but he does not have a plus pitch. Sure he has good velocity, but it is blow average by metics. Meaning batters hit it,
Will Hezler make a difference? Maybe. Will being out of Coors make enough of a difference? Maybe.
I really don’t have a good feel for who will be this teams closer June 1st. I hope it’s Estevez.
I could see that HHJJ
I’d like to see CRod get a chance if his arm doesn’t implode. I think they should back off considering him as a starter for his health at the very least…
This is why I questioned the Angels not spending more on their BP. if no one is sure who the closer is, that’s usually a problem.
Joe, it’s a huge problem. That is where good teams really open up some distance on the Angels. Shortstop and the bullpen.
The Angels need heath and other positions to shorten the distance.
But, when you talk about DH and Outfield, that’s where the Angels really catch up.
Nevin said that they will not have a designated closer. That they will go with any one of 3 guys including Estevez, Herget, and Tepera. That was before adding Moore, but I don’t think he will figure in that equation to start the season.
If you have been paying attention to the news coming out of their spring training camp you have been hearing the name Ben Joyce. He was drafted in 2022 then pitched a couple months in AA last season and has not pitched in a game in Arizona yet, but he has been hitting 103-104 mph in bullpens. He struck out 5 in a simulated game and only one guy even put the ball in play. He will probably start the year in the minors but I believe he will be the closer or at least in the closer mix by August or September.
SoulSurfer, there are a bunch of guys in the minors that have high upside. But I dont expect any of the to make the big league roster. And what good are these guys going to do if the bullpen implodes.
Also a bullpen by committee doesn’t work. These are human beings and they need roles. If Nevin doesn’t realize that, this bullpen will implode.
Joyce will make the roster at some point early this year. 105 mph fastballs don’t sit in the minors long. It’s still early in spring training so it’s possible he breaks camp with the big league squad.
I agree about players needing a defined role, but teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Phillies went to the playoffs without a designated closer last season. The Phillies had 11 guys with saves and no one with more than a dozen. The Dodgers and Yankees had 12 guys get saves.
Last year we found out that depending on minor league talent was not wise.
And depending on minor league talent to show up in June means the Angels have blown a bunch of games in April and May.
Bullpens are always volatile. You can see guys go from good to bad back to good. A bad inning can affect your numbers and confidence.
The Angel had some decent numbers in the 2nd half. Much better than most realize. If I look at the 8 i expect to start the season in the bullpen….
Tepera 2.86 ERA, 1.091 WHIP
Herget 1.10 ERA, 0.827 WHIP
Loup 3.46 ERA, 1.269 WHIP
Wantz 3.08 ERA, 1.101 wHIP
Barria 2.04 ERA, 1.019 WHIP
Weiss, 3.38 ERA, 1.050 WHIP
Estevez 1.40 ERA, 0.779 WHIP
Moore 2.23 ERA, 1.113 WHIP
These numbers are not bad. All of these guys are in or at least near the top third of baseball in the hard hit percentage.
Obviously, Estevez and Moore were not part of the Angels last year. As for the rest that were on the Angels, they were mostly better in the 2nd half. Part of it is Maddon did a poor job of handling the bullpen as did Nevin in the first half. Nevin did a much better job putting pitchers in on clean innings and limiting innings to one inning in the 2nd half. The rotation also was better in the 2nd half and they were going a consistent 5 or more innings in the 2nd half.
Anderson should also help with going deeper in games giving the pen more rest.
They added Moore because he is a former starter and he can pitcher multiple innings, which the Angels don’t have outside of Barria and Barria is more of a low leverage guy. I would believe that Moore would be the 2nd left hand option out of the pen. Quijada is too inconsistent. Since the Angels rotation is left hand heavy, it makes senses to have limited left hand options in the bullpen.
Their best off-season move was hiring Bill Hezel of Driveline, which gives me hope the pen can make some modifications to their stuff and become plus pitchers.
Rengifo is not playing shortstop this spring which also gives me hope they are smart enough to realize he can’t play shortstop.
Those are the two areas of my concern…. So there is hope.
Rendon needs to play up to the salary hes making. Trout/Ohtani need all the help they can get.
Velazquez and Soto have gotten most of the innings at SS this spring. Having to play them was the entire problem last season.
As far as I know Rendon has not had any inning at 3B so far while Rengifo has played mostly 3B with a couple of games at 2B and one in RF.
this offseason is going to look better after the depth accumulated for this year has played out; the bullpen, rotation lineup and bench are all full and barring (inevitably) injury, players are going to have to force their way onto the big league roster. if they dont start strong, they look like a team that will be capable of coming together and clicking as the year grinds down toward the stretch. the solid core theyll have playing and the prospects (adell, livan soto, moniak, bullpen guys) and depth they have seems like a good mixture for where theyre at competitively, but if they bomb renfroe, urshela, perhaps stassi, and the top half of the bullpen, as well as shohei, can be sold in a quick retool likely bringing in position players, since they have heavily targeted and worked on developing their own pitchers since perry has come in, but ohoppe and neto look like the only regular future position players in the farm
pohle – Quero has a regular profile and maybe the tools to be a star. He will probably split the C spot in a few years time. I think ESPN or maybe CBS Sports has him as Angels #1 prospect.
Angels are like the Lakers where every sport writer wants them to be champions and praising Trout as a GOAT. Every year is the same thing they win nothing. Sport writers need to be critical not thinking any player on the angels will have the greatest season of their career.
Huh??? At no point is any of this rambling rooted in reality. May God have mercy on your soul.
Feel bad for Angels fans. Perennially bottom half team for the past decade, with little on the farm system to show for it. Figure any depth move they make has risen the talent floor substantially. If all things click this year…could definitely see them make a run at a wild card spot.
Buying high on Drury and Anderson will not work out for the Angels.
The Fiend – I think Anderson should do much better in places like LA and Anaheim. Drury had his eyes fixed just before his brakeout. A good reason for an improvement.
I think the Angels got tremendous value in Anderson, Drury and Estevez. Some of the best value contracts compared to some of the other contracts being handed out this off season.
The Angels finally addressed pitching. Now they need to stay healthy.
Good luck w Phil Nevin. You had a manager who has won a world series, taken a team that previously never won to a world series, and has demonstrated he is one of the best managers in the game. And you canned him for Phil Nevin. Need a manager who can win, who has experience winning, is creative…. I wonder who they will hire when they finally can Nevin.
Maddon…bases loaded intentional walk.
Maddon…Iglesias hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks and he’s.brought into the game to pitch to Bryce Harper with the bases loaded in the 8th….grand slam.
These are mistakes a high school coach would have never made.
Maddon rode those Tampa spreadsheets to fame and has made so many questionable decisions since leaving.
Left Field: They didn’t address this in the offseason and are going with Ward and hoping that either Jo Adell or Mickey Moniak show up to camp ready to take the spot. 0/1
A veteran starter: They’re missing that presence in the rotation. I get they have Ohtani but they needed someone else with that experience to help solidify the rotation. I don’t think it’s a terrible rotation but I also don’t think it’s that dominant either. Tyler Anderson should help but I don’t think that’s the answer. 0/2
Bullpen: To be fair, they did try and address this area with a closer and a decent arm in Moore. 1/3.
3B/SS: They did improve these position with Urshela & Drury and it helps them keep good depth at 3B with the assumption that Rendon is getting injured again this year. 2/4
Old York. Moniak and Adell will start at AAA. So no.
I never said they would start in Left. I said, unless they show up to take the spot. So, no, they didn’t answer this missing piece.
The bullpen could be a huge problem. But LF? If someone goes down, they better hope there 4th outfielder doesn’t suck. Wow, how many teams in baseball don’t have this problem?
And they have Ohtani and Anderson. How many veterans do they need? Talk about a stretch .
I’m grading, based on their upgrades. They did make upgrades to their BP. That doesn’t mean they were amazing or will have a shutdown pen all year.
Yes, LF is a problem.
Ohtani and Anderson are veterans but they don’t have that shutdown pitcher to give them the 1,2,3 strength at the top. Beyond those two, they don’t really have much of a rotation.
They don’t have a shutdown pitcher? Ohtani is not a shutdown pitcher? Ward is a problem?
And I have Anderson pegged as the Angels 4th starter.
There bullpen is very questionable.
Do you know anything about this team?
Did you not read my OP? It doesn’t seem you did.
I did read it.? Maybe I didn’t understand the nonsense. They don’t have a shutdown pitcher? They don’t have a Left fielder?
As far as a 1, 2, 3. I would not trade Ohtani, Detmers and Sandoval for Castillo, Gilbert and Ray.
The Ms did not have a single starter with an ERA in the twos last year. The Angels had three. And that’s not counting Detmers, who was sent to the minor leagues, found his slider, and pitched from July on with a 3.04 ERA.
You know nothing of the Angels. So why do come here and spout nonsense?
Who is the shutdown pitcher on their team? I don’t see one.
ERA really means nothing. Maybe try xFIP or xERA. In that case, they the Angels had 1. M’s had 0.
I’m here because it’s a public forum. No one is forcing you to read what I spout. LOL!
Ohtani is not a shutdown pitcher?
Detmers came back I believe his xFIP was in the mid twos.
Sandoval? Worked on other pitches last off season, Couldn’t find his change up last year. Which in 2021 was one of the best pitches in the game. Virtually pitched the entire year without it and still had a sub three ERA. It appears to be back.
You don’t know a thing about this team.
By the way…ERA is not predictive. Stuff is. Detmers slider is lethal. Sandoval slider is damn good, and if he has his change up back, that’s lethal.
You must be a Homer for your team. Imagine giving the team a B rating for the off-season moves and someone still upset. Should I have said A+? LOL!
You don’t know a thing about the Angels, or me, but you go on this board and talk about the Angels like you do. The difference is I don’t go on threads about your team and pretend I know what I’m talking about.
And if you think I’m a homer, you should talk to other Angel fans about me.
You’re right, I don’t know you. However, given this is a public forum, I can have an opinion on the Angels and I thought their off-season was rated a B. They may be in competition for one of the 3 wild card spots but that’s about as far as I’d predict. I think you’re overrating the pitching staff but you’re welcome to your opinion.
You sure can have an opinion. But you talk like you know these pitchers and this team and you don’t.
LF, starting pitchers is not this team’s problem. It’s shortstop and the bullpen, which have very little upside. It’s the health of Trout, Rendon and Walsh. Maybe they can sustain the loss of either Rendon or Walsh, not both. And they can’t sustain the loss of Trout.
Second base isn’t a strong position in too many places in baseball. So, I’m not too worried about who the Angels play there.
How is adding renfroe not addressing LF? It pushed ward to LF which is a huge upgrade over what they had there last year
Negative dWAR for both and that’s an upgrade to outfield? Righ…
Old York, If you are a fantasy player in a 12 team league. read until the end.
In 2021 Sandoval change up was one of the best pitches in the game. Not just one of the best change ups, but one of the best pitches in the game.
In 2023 he drastically improved his slider, but the change up went from fantastic to mediocre.
Regardless, If you a left-handed batter, good luck. you can’t hit him. If you are RH batter, the only pitch he had was a slider. He pitched around RH batters, but his slider was still so good he kept his ERA below three and threw it when he was in trouble, which was often.
This off-season he worked on regaining feel for his change up.
If you are in a 12-team fantasy league, pick him up a little above his ADP. If his slider and change up are working in April, people will be wondering where this guy came from.
If he doesn’t have his change up, drop him and pick up someone else .I would expect his Whip to be high and his ERA to be below 3.5. A useful MLB pitcher, not a very useful fantasy pitcher.
The only way I play fantasy baseball is doing it daily, like DFS. I look at the best matchups for that day and load up on the offenses with the best opportunities. Same goes for pitching. I pick the pitchers that have the best option to do well. Each time I play that way, I win the season. It became boring, though, as it was too easy to win. I have 10s straight across the board for all of the ESPN stats.
Ultimately, if Sandoval is going up against a great offense, I would not stream him, as the upside is quite low. He might go 5 innings of 5 or 6 hits, a few Ks. I would target him against teams like DET and MIA.
Old York – I disagree with most of your Angels take, but your problem with left field is STRANGE. When Ward is healthy, he is a good fielder with a strong arm. Renfroe is close to average, with a strong arm. Ward is a very good hitter. Renfroe is above average. If you think this is biased, MLB network rated by the shredder (Computer analysis) puts Renfroe at 10 best RF and Ward 4th best LF in all baseball.
It’s the take of someone who doesn’t know much about the Angels.
I very seldom go on threads about other teams because I’m not arrogant enough to think I know more about their team than they do and I’m not a big enough jerk to rain on someone’s parade just because I think they are wrong.
I honestly can’t relate to a trolls mentality. Not that York is a troll, but he clearly doesn’t have a great deal of knowledge concerning the Angels.
Renfroe had a 2 DRS and – 2 OAA on defense. That would point to him having been an average defensive OF last season at the very least.
OAA doesn’t take into account what happens after the ball is caught and Renfroe has a strong arm. Over the last 2 seasons combined he was #1 in assists and last year he was 3rd.
For his career he is above average defensively according to DRS.
Renfroe is a definite improvement over the player whose place he is taking on the roster, Jo Adell.
@Old York, Ohtani is absolutely a shutdown pitcher and a legitimate ace. Anderson and Sandoval are a very nice 2-3. If this team stays healthy they could b very interesting.
The Shredder is heavily biased on last year’s data. I don’t see Ward anywhere on the top 10 2 years ago. I’d prefer to see consistency before I start calling him the next Mike Trout or Judge.
Renfroe is in RF, but given he has had negative dWAR his whole career, I don’t think it’s much of an upgrade for defense. Maybe his O comes around more consistency, but the last two year’s he’s played in hitter parks and he now goes to a pitcher park. I could see some regression. Look how terrible he was in San Diego.
If I was trying to troll you, I would have done a better job. Instead, I have been quite polite to present my arguments. If you don’t like them, no one is forcing you to read them. What I say means nothing at all.
The past 3 years, he has had Average to below average DRS AND 2 OAA is average at best, so it’s not any significant improvement.
And I wasn’t pushing for Jo Adell, he is worse than Renfroe.
I agree with Scherzer in saying that he has the potential but he is not yet a bonified ace of a staff. Currently, he’s a good #2 on most teams and he has the potential to be a #1 if he can show consistent performance year and and out, as we see with Scherzer and Verlander. Those guys are legitimate aces and it has taken many years to get there.
I absolutely know you are not a troll. I would not have spent this much time on you if I didn’t think you were a baseball fan with an honest opinion.
BTW, my Yomiuri Giants are expected to be terrible this year. Probably 4th place in their division.
Old York – Yes The shredder some bias to last year as that is what has been shown to be best predictive. This is not ALL that it is based on. Just looking at his talent tells you something about his potental.
I understand you don’t think he will be the 4th best LF, but to say he is a hole. I just don’t get it. I guess we just disagree.
By the way, I see you are a Yomiuri Giants fan. I lightly follow the Chunichi Dragons fan. Good pitching, but struggle with the bats, especially with power. I think Ohtani is in Nagoya right now, or maybe the spring site, to play the Dragons. Do you know of any place I can find any info about this? Maybe Takahashi pitches against the Dragons would be fun, Just like Trout against the Angels on March 9th. How is it you came to follow the Giants? do you live in Tokyo? I live in Yorba Linda California that borders Anaheim. My in-laws are big Dragons fans and live in Anjo , Aichi.
@Old York Taylor Ward was hitting .370 on May 20. He was literally one of the best hitters in baseball at that point. May 20 is the day he ran a portion of the wall that isn’t padded and hit the concrete and left the game early.. He didn’t play for a week after that and struggled for the following months afterwards. He hit .345 the last month of the season. Ward is the real deal.
Yes Google. Most people don’t know he got hurt.
I typically don’t think players that find themselves at 28 are the real deal, but it happens. After years of swing tinkering I think he’s found something that works for him.
I’m confident Ward is going to remain a good player, and he’s locked up until 2027. The Angels have a lot of good players locked up until 2027.
If the Angels win this year, there is a reason for Ohtani to resign, and there is every reason to believe this team can go on a run over the next four seasons.
@Old York, he was just 4th in AL Cy Young voting. That is 4th in his league. Absolutely the Ace of his teams staff. You trying to say he’s not an Ace cus he has not reached the status of 2 future HOF pitchers is absolutely laughable.
My two cents.
York is wrong. Ohtani is a shutdown starter. An Ace.
FIP is predictive. It shows that Ohtani and Sandoval will be about the same pitchers they were last year. Really, really good ones. It shows that there should be some regression for Anderson, that will be into the low 3 ERA. Still a good #2 or #3 starter. It shows that what you saw is what you will get from Detmers, a good middle of the rotation starter.
The Angels starters ranked 6th in ERA and 10th in FIP last season and they got better and deeper and that doesn’t include Canning or Rodriguez who are returning from injuries. Anderson is better than either of the guys they lost,
If LF is a problem for the Angels, it’s a good one to have. Ward put up a 135 OPS+. He will be a top 5 LF in 2023 with the bat if he puts up the same numbers. I think that 23-24 teams would trade their LF straight up for him no problem.
The Shredder takes into account multiple seasons. Typically 3, but this season they cut that down to 2 because so many players put up production in 2020 that was 40% of more off their career numbers. That you don’t know that is a little strange since you are trying to comment on it.
Renfroe has a 15 DRS for his career and -5 OAA. Well above average DRS. Again, OAA doesn’t take into account anything that happens after the ball is caught, so it’s not a complete reflection of how good of a defensive player he is, it’s only how well he reacted to the ball in play.
You are completely off base when it comes to park factors. Well, about everything but especially about park factors.
Notice where Angels Stadium is on these lists compared to American Family Field in Milwaukee. On both lists there is very little difference between Angels Stadium and Fenway. Angels Stadium is a hitters park.
He had a 108 OPS+ in Petco, so he was far from terrible. But since you have shown so little understanding of what makes a player good or bad, I should not be surprised you were wrong about that too.
You just double down on being wrong, don’t you? The last 3 seasons he has an above average DRS. That is what it means when you have a 1 DRS in RF over that period. 1 is better than zero and zero is average.
What you are is wrong. Consistently. Obviously. And when you are shown that you are wrong, you pivot to try to say something else. Just stop.
There are 30 teams. An Ace means the pitcher is a #1 starter. Are you seriously stupid enough to even try to say that Ohtani is not a #1 starter?
Here are the best starters the last two years.
Yeah, Ohtani is an Ace. He is right next to Scherzer in FIP and 5th in ERA. When it comes to actual performance, he an Ace. But hey, keep your head securely fastened up there and keep spitting out that brown stuff.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen the word “hope” and Jo Adell used in the same sentence.
Ward had a 135 OPS+ last season. Why would the Angels be hoping anyone else takes the position? He was top 10 in OPS+ in the OF and would have been the 2nd best behind Yordan Alvarez last season. He was the 4th best OF in WAR and would have been the 3rd best LF.
The Angels are just hoping he stays healthy for 130+ games again this season.
Both Ohtani and Anderson are veteran presences in the starting rotation.
The big deficiency is at SS. They didn’t address that at all.
B- or a C
.500 team at best. They’re are a joke. I feel bad of Ohtani. He could have chosen any team he wanted.
A 500 team at best? AT BEST? A team with Ohtani, Rendon and Trout. And a pitching staff that had three starter with an ERA 3, AND Detmers, is a 500 team AT BEST?
You are delusional. There are a few teams who are a 500 team AT BEST, but the Angels are not one of them.
You are the definition of troll.
Lol. Ok. A team that always struggles to stay healthy and has mediocre players at best besides the 3 you mentioned. Rendon has yet to show he can be healthy for them. Tyler Anderson had one good year last year. Everyone they just got is ok at best. Look at the division they’re in also. The Mariners are way better, the Rangers are probably a bit better, the Astros of course are going to win the division. There are more teams that are better than them. It would take a miracle for them to finish above .500. I mean just my opinion. The Angles are synonyms with disappointment. We’ll see how they do but I’d bet big on my assumption. It’s sad because they have 2 of the games top 5 talents but it’s reality.
You want to predict things are going to go wrong and they are unlikely to be a 500 team, fine.
But you lost all credibility when you said they were a 500 team at best.
Their depth is slightly better than waiver wire bets you could make. Rendon is still a massive question mark, their bullpen is pretty bad, Tyler Anderson is a 4-5 guy who’s extremely volatile depending on his pitches movement. Trying to keep all the depth is not going to be easy at all. If they traded Rengifo, Fletcher got some solid relief help they’d be much better.
A 500 team at best? AT BEST?
Your response is a bit over the line. They haven’t been a .500 in 7 years, and were 8 games under .500 last year. Suggesting that they aren’t really a .500 teams is not outrageous. I like them a little, but I also wouldn’t bet they’d be much above .500.
Joe Brady, what part of “at best” .500 team did u not understand.
At best! I would put them at 100 wins. “At best” lol
Nobody said there guaranteed to be .500
Buzz: did you notice reality is not strong with that one? Fan boy oversteps logic.
Those sleeping on the Angels. They were around top 1/3rd in AL starting pitching last year with Tyler Anderson superseding Thor in every way this year. Expect more from Detmers. They had numerous below avg replacement position players alongside Trout and Ohtani which made the offense set some infamous records. That trickledown effect kills rallies, puts their pitching in tighter spots, helps opposing pitchers get more comfortable, and added pressure on Trout and Ohtani. The new position guys should help both offensively and defensively. Rengifo stepped up and will receive ample playing time. Bullpen is my only real concern. Yeah Arte is back which sucks, but with the possibility of a sale coming, it may have limited the spending power during the off-season. I felt they did well with the circumstances. I’d prefer a more established closer or 1 more quality reliever, but hey this team should be better. Unfortunately, teams in the AL West also got better.
The Angels need things to break right. But if they do, this can be an excellent team, not a good team, excellent. They don’t need a single player to have a career year.
If the most of their players have average or above average years, they should be pretty good.
The Angels just need their players to remain healthy throughout the season, I’m sure there will be injuries but if those injuries aren’t spending weeks on the IL, the depth moves they made will cover the missed time. I gave them a B, a lot of depth, good depth too, which is what has hurt them every time, for example, Rendon has been hurt.
The dumbest thing the Angels could have done was spend big at SS. Soto is the SS of the future. He has plus contact skills, is a good fielder and a natural leader. On a power heavy team like the Angels he is more valuable.
I never expect an owner to spend big money on players, but the Angels do not have a good shortstop and I’d be thrilled if the shortstop position has a WAR in the top 20.
Bart, If you want to be a contending team, you never, ever choose a maybe over a sure thing. Soto is a maybe. A proven performer like Correa and Bogaerts or even Swanson is a sure thing.
Soto had an 81 wRC+ and 80 OPS+ in full season ball in the minors and only 1 season at average or better and that was a 104. Not exactly performance you stake your future on.
Yes, he did hit well in his cup of coffee in the majors, but he also had a totally unsustainable .500 BABIP.. Bring that down to his minor league average and what does he hit? Around .220 BA with a .560 OPS. Almost exactly what he hit in full season ball in the minors. Guys with a .220 BA and .560 OPS do not have good contact skills.
No, he is not the future at SS for the Angels or any team. He is a depth piece that can fill in if both the starter and the backup get hurt. Maybe Neto is the Angels future at SS in a year or two, but again, you don’t pass up on a proven performer for a maybe.
Look at what the Padres did. They already had a 5.0 WAR SS and went out and got another one with a better bat. Their infield is filled with shortstops. Machado, Bogaerts, Kim, and Cronenworth.
Now imagine an Angels infield with Rendon, Correa, Rengifo, Walsh with Urshela and Fletcher as the utility guys. That is a group capable of putting them in the playoffs if Rendon and Walsh stay healthy and even when they get hurt they have MLB quality backups.
Zach Neto is the SS of the future.
I agree range. He will get a call up mid to late in 2024 and be the starter at that position at the beginning of 2025. Sadly, by then there will be 5-6 other holes in that lineup.
That is why signing a top notch SS made so much sense.
The addition by subtraction was supposed to be waiving goodbye to Arte Moreno. That didn’t happen so now you have a team with a lame duck manager and superstar with one foot out the door.
I feel like Baseball would be better if Trout got to play in meaningful games for the first time in 9 years but I’m not sure they are better than a 3rd place team
If things break right, and I’m not saying they will, they can be a great team.
If their staters pitch close to how they pitched last year, and Trout, Ohtani, Walsh, Ward and Rendon stay healthy, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where this team does win 90+ games.
I think they made some good improvements but as you point out, but SS and BP will bite us as the season goes on. As for 90+ wins, even with the “if’s” you mention come true, I don’t see them winning 18 more games than last year. I hope you’re right.
Sorry for the grammatical errors…I hate that.
I do. But things have to break right.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Let’s hope there is a thunderstorm!
Will the ball be dead in 2023 like in 2022? Tyler Anderson wants to know…..