Ever since Billy Eppler took over as the LA Angels general manager, he has avoided overspending for aging players. He will have money to spend this offseason, but he should continue doing what he has done so well since taking over.
The LA Angels may seem like they are miles away from actually contending. Despite being in contention for the Wild Card game for the past few months, the Halos have never been viewed as a serious contender unless a 2002-like run occurs.
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Nonetheless, the Angels have the pieces within their system to contend in the next few years. The only big offseason move they make would be convincing Justin Upton to opt-in to his current deal and be involved in the Halos future plans. He adds a big bat to the top of the lineup and plays solid defense, so his $22 million a year would be justified.
The Halos have been connected to numerous third basemen who will be free agents this offseason, especially the Kansas City Royals’ Mike Moustakas. However, another hefty contract for the Angels could restrict them when key players hit the market. It would also be unnecessary due to the fact that Luis Valbuena has been a great addition.
Valbuena was not well-liked by Halo fans throughout the first half of the season. However, he was recovering from injury. Valbuena took off once healthy and has all the traits to be an everyday third baseman.
The Angels only obstacle to contention is health. They have had bad luck with their rotation for years. However, it seems as if Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs have put their injuries behind them. They also discovered Parker Bridwell this season. They have a formidable rotation for next year, and a solid bullpen to back it up.
The Angels defense was elite all season. It took a hit when they lost Cameron Maybin, but Mike Trout can cover enough ground to make up for it. Their offense has also played well down the stretch, and could be a strong point for the Halos next season.
The Angels are more than likely done this year. However, Billy Eppler should stick to his plan and make small signings that have low-risk, high rewards. That will be what brings a championship to Anaheim, not another Josh Hamilton.