Angels Falling Behind as Free Agent Pitchers are Getting Snatched up
The Angels came into the offseason needing to get pitching. They kicked off their offseason by trading for a third baseman. They did sign Joe Smith to shore up the bullpen, but as Saxon noted earlier, the back end of their rotation currently consists of Joe Blanton and Matt Shoemaker. /shudders
MLB Trade Rumors has a fancy trade tracker tool, just in case you feel like obsessing over where free agents are going like I have been. You can also use it to swear at your laptop/desktop/typewriter when you see which pitchers have signed contracts already that should have been on the Angels radar. I’m looking at you, Ryan Volgesons ($5M) and Josh Johnson ($8M).
What is left in the free agent pitcher bin now that Hiroki Kuroda has re-signed with the Yankees for one-year (damnit), is a lot of “island of misfit toys” type pitchers to go along with Ervin Santana and Matt Garza.
But there are certainly a couple of interesting prospects that the Angels could justify throwing five-or-so million dollars at. One of which, is Roy Halladay. And I proposed that idea to a few writers/bloggers who cover the Angels, and surprisingly enough, got roughly the same answer from each one.
To be clear, I am not for the Angels signing Matt Garza. I have a personal issue with misogynists and I would have a very difficult time rooting for a player like that. It is something that I refer to as “A.J. Pierzynski Syndrome.” Don’t worry, it is not contagious. Ditto Johan Santana. I understand that Halladay spent most of the 2013 season on the DL, but Santana has had multiple shoulder surgeries.
Halladay, on the other hand, had his first real DL stint last season. He will be 37 next season, so, you know, that’s not good. But, in 2011, he was a runner up for the Cy Young Award. And he has always profiled as a smart pitcher, a trait that normally ages well. And since his option was declined and no qualifying offer was extended, he could sign a sweetheart deal in an effort to create value going into 2015. This, of course, is an idea that was inconceivable a few seasons ago that you could put Roy Halladay in a similar situation as Dan Haren.
The reality is, Roy Halladay is no longer an Ace. But, he is a pitcher that could be had for a reasonable cost. And with the Angels having only around $15M to spend to bolster their rotation, a signing like this could be a huge buy-low winner for the Angels. At worst, the signing is Ryan Madson-esque. At best, Halladay has one last hurrah-type season before he rides off into the decline sunset. If it is the latter, why not have that happen in an Angels uniform?