Running down the LA Angels before Winter Meetings

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 01: Parker Bridwell
ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 01: Parker Bridwell /

The Los Angeles Angels are heading into the Winter Meetings with a few lingering questions to answer. The biggest question is how can the Angels get back into the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Angels have failed to make the playoffs for the past two seasons. With major injuries to the pitching staff, the Angels have to address the mound before the 2018 season. It’s up to Billy Eppler to gather a pitching staff with quality pitchers, not quantity.

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The Los Angeles Angels must find an ace who can stay healthy. The Angels have a variety of pitchers that are going to be free agents. RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Bud Norris, RHP, Andrew Bailey, and RHP Jesse Chavez are all listed as free agents. The team also declined the options of Huston Street and Ricky Nolasco.

Assuming that the Angels decide to move on from these pitchers, they can look to reshape the pitching staff. This must be a top priority for the Los Angeles Angels. Next season, the Angels projected pitching staff will be Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, Matt Shoemaker, and Nick Tropeano.

While all these players are good pitchers, they haven’t been healthy consistently for the last two seasons. In fact, Shoemaker and Tropeano will be coming off surgery and Heaney will still be recovering from a lingering shoulder issue.

There are some great pitchers available this offseason. Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn are all on the board for the taking. As of now, it’s unclear if the Angels will be able to convince any of these top profile pitchers to join their rotation. The Angels have an uphill battle on their hands to get the pitching staff up to par. You can also expect the Texas Rangers are going to make a play to lure Darvish back to the lone star state.

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Angels general manager Billy Eppler will have to also examine why his pitchers seem to always be getting hurt. I would hope that Eppler, Mike Scioscia, and pitching coach Charles Nagy have been in communication to access and discuss the situation involving the pitching staff. There is much to be watching out for as the Los Angeles Angels begin gearing towards the 2018 season.