Who Will the Angels Target Next Offseason?


Free agents have been nearly completely ignored by the Angels brass this offseason. Trades have been the modus operandi with Jerry Dipoto at the helm and that will likely always be the preferred option going forward since free agents are generally older players that will be paid for what they’ve already accomplished and not what will be. Trades simply aren’t always ann option and at times free agents are the best way to improve the team.

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After 2015 the Halos will be losing a starting catcher (Chris Iannetta) and a third baseman (David Freese). Second base is a question this year and if the prospects don’t step up they could have a hole there and while their starting pitching staff is set to be pretty good in 2016, a bevy of top of the rotation arms will be available. Here’s a list of possible free agents (with 2016 age in parenthesis) the Angels could have their eye on next offseason.

Matt Weiters: C (30)

Career – .257 .320 .423

If Jett Bandy AND Carlos Perez show themselves capable in the big leagues, than Matt Weiters will be of little interest. If they don’t than a primary backstop will be necessary and Weiters will be entering his age thirty season and a strong resumé of both offensive and defensive production. In other words, he won’t come cheap. 

Alex Avila: C (29)

Career –.247 .345 .407

Alex Avila will be the consolation prize to Weiters. But, may in fact actually be a better prize considering he’ll probably cost less. A year younger and with both offensive (at least as far as catchers go) and defensive skills that are slightly above average make him a valuable asset to most clubs.

David Price: LHP (30)

Career – 3.21 ERA   1.412 WHIP   121 ERA+

Hopefully the Angels will be in no need of a mid-tier starter. An ace pitcher however, is always a need for any club. David Price will quite possibly set a new record for a lefty starter in free agency. Will the Angels want him that bad? Probably not, but matching him up with Garrett Richards at the top would be an awfully intimidating punch in the regular season and more so in the postseason. 

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Jordan Zimmerman: RHP (30)

Career – 3.24 ERA   1.149 WHIP 120 ERA+

Jordan Zimmerman was linked to the Angels as a trade interest earlier in the offseason. Next year I’d be surprise if he wasn’t mentioned again as a free agent. A rock solid pitcher at the top of any rotation and at the relatively young age of 30 he will get a huge deal much like Price. Most of the Angels top young pitching is left handed and young. Not a bad thing by any means but a veteran ace like Zimmerman could provide a right handed balance and be the only true experienced leader on the staff after Weaver hits free agency a year later.

Honorable Mentions

Jimmy Rollins – If second base is a failure this year he may be an option and short term solution there or at third.

Howie Kendrick – A longshot to return but an option nonetheless.

David Freese – Most Angels fans shudder at the thought but if his expected replacement Kyle Kubitza doesn’t pan out (Halos fans know too well how 3rd base prospects fail sometimes) than he may very well be the best option. Seriously, the market is that thin at the hot corner.

Mat Latos – He’ll be pricey as he’s the youngest of the very good free agent pitchers. He may or may not be an ace but he would sit near the top of any teams rotation.

Aug 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos (55) pitches during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully the Angels will again see a way around the financial trap that is free agency. Hopefully all of their prospects will produce but that is unlikely. In certain areas the Angels are well set but in others they will be weak and short on depth and in free agency some areas look deep next season while lackluster options are available in others. Whether or not the Angels match up with the available deep position we know they will be mentioned in many rumors. Dipoto doesn’t tip his hand very often so when moves are made expect them to surprise.

All of the above mentioned players may be a long shot to join the Angels since their is so much money being thrown around in free agency. The contracts that are on the books will hamper the big spending until the 2016/17 offseason. In all likelihood the only moves well see are going to be trades and minor signings for depth.