Angels Interested in Robbie Ray, Justin Verlander
It’s become sort of an offseason tradition to note that the Angels are in the rotational aid market, and they still are at the start of the 2021-22 offseason. Second-year general manager Perry Minasian again told reporters at this week’s GM meetings that launch aid was his top priority – Minasian offered a similar prospect in early October – and said perhaps more important to suggest that the team is not operating under any payroll constraints (Twitter connections via Jack Harris of the LA Times). Asked about the budget, Minasian simply replied that he “would not exclude us from anything.”
It’s hardly surprising to see the Angels back in the pitch assist market, especially when it comes to rotation. The Halos starters placed 26th in the Majors with just 776 1/3 innings pitched in 2021, and their collective ERA of 4.78 placed 22nd. In terms of independent measures on the pitch like FIP and SIERA, the Angels were a club in the middle of the pack, and so was their strikeout percentage. However, no baseball team has seen its starters walk a higher percentage of opponents than the Angels’ mark of nine percent, and their rotation ranked 15th among hitting hitters despite being fifth under. innings of all MLB teams.
Minasian confirmed to Harris and others that the team was represented at yesterday’s meeting Justin verlander showcase, and Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets that the angels made some first inquiries with free left-handers Robbie ray and Eduardo Rodriguez. Any big market club needing the rotation numbers to check with reps for that pitching trio, of course, but it’s worth noting that all three Verlander, Ray and Rodriguez have received qualifying offers from their respective clubs.
If the Angels signed a member of that line, they would have to forfeit their second draft pick and $ 500,000 of their international bonus. For some teams, it’s a solid obstacle, but it’s at least a little telling that the Angels don’t seem fazed by this reality. Their early interest in this group fits in well with Minasian’s feeling that they aren’t ruling out anything as they seek to fill a long-standing need for rotation.
In the bullpen, the Angels made their own qualifying offer, extending that $ 18.4million proposal to closer Raisel Iglesias. Minasian has not been given any indication as to whether Iglesias will accept or decline the offer – the latter seems likely – but stressed (via Harris) that the Angels would like to have Iglesias at the back of their enclosure again in 2022, which he accepts or refuses.
Angels’ rotation is currently planning to headlining favorite MVP Shohei Ohtani, with younger options such as Patrick Sandoval, JosÃ© SuÃ¡rez, Jaime Barria, Reid detmers, Griffin canning and Janson junk among the options to complete things. They are an inexperienced group to say the least, so the Angels are likely to be looking for several veteran arms to join the group during the offseason. Alex cobb has already expressed interest in returning to the club, but will at least be able to generate interest from other clubs now that he is a free agent.
From a payroll perspective, the Angels currently owe five players $ 108.95 million: Mike Trout, Antoine Rendon, Justin upton, David Fletcher and Ohtani. Add a modest projection of $ 7.7 million in arbitration salaries, including a total of $ 2.8 million for non-tender candidates Guerra junior and Phil gosselin – as well as a roster of pre-arbitration players, and the expected payroll for next year climbs to somewhere between $ 125 million and $ 130 million.
For a team that made a payroll of $ 182 million in 2021 and recently saw Albert PujolsâA decade-long mega-deal came off the books, that’s a little bit of flexibility. And, further considering that Justin uptonThe backload contract for ($ 28 million in 2022) is no longer on the books next winter, the outlook is even brighter. The Angels will surely still want to consider a long-term deal to keep Ohtani beyond the 2023 campaign, currently his last year of controlling the club, but there should be room to bring an arm of note.
That said, with all of Trout, Rendon, and ideally Ohtani on the books for the long haul, it might be difficult for the Angels to sign two high-end pitchers for long-term deals. It’s possible they could sign someone like Ray or Rodriguez for a long-term deal, sign another impact starter for a shorter-term deal – Verlander, Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodon are among the candidates for this type of agreement, speculatively, then turn to the commercial market for another branch. The Reds, Marlins and Athletics could all look to move starters this winter, and the Halos have several promising young outfielders, including Jo adell, Brandon Marsh and Jordyn adams. Any of the youth rotation options mentioned earlier could also be included in a package for a more established arm.
Regardless of the way things turn out, the Angels have a good chunk of the payroll for at least the next few years. How they approach the rotation this winter and the outcome of their inevitable extension talks with Ohtani will dictate what things look like in 2023 and beyond.