With Justin Upton re-signed what is next for the LA Angels?
The LA Angels took care of their most pressing off-season need which was re-signing All-Star outfielder Justin Upton to a new five-year deal worth reportedly 106 million dollars.
The LA Angels started the off-season with a bang getting Justin Upton into the fold. With Upton and Trout in the middle of the line-up for a full season it immediately makes the Angels a playoff contender, but again a lot will depend on the health and effectiveness of their starting pitching and bullpen.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler has been assessing the market for both free agents and trading for players that could bolster the team for the 2018 season. However, as of yet the Angels have not made any other moves, but Eppler’s MO is always to keep things close to the vest until he springs into action. You hear all kinds of rumors, but a lot of times those rumors are not even what Eppler does.
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The Angels have been linked to a number of second base options such as Dee Gordon, Javier Baez, Ian Kinsler, Zack Cozart, and even Neil Walker. However, they may not go after any of these players you never know.
As for third base the name heard the most often Mike Moustakas has been linked to the Angels as a replacement for Yunel Escobar. The Angels could also pursue a trade as well to fill the hole, but no one has mentioned the Angels inquiring about deals for a third baseman. However, as we said before, just because nothing has been mentioned does not mean Eppler and the Angels have not been laying the ground work for a deal.
Many also think the Angels should try to acquire a pitcher or two to solidify the staff in case of injuries. There are some intriguing names out there such as Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, but I don’t see the Angels ponying up that kind of dough. More likely targets could be a Jason Vargas, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, or even a Miguel Gonzalez. We will just have to wait and see what Eppler and the Angels will do, but know this the Angels will make some noise during the Winter Meetings or sometime close to them.
The past two years the Angels made the move to get Andrelton Simmons as well as acquiring Yunel Escobar, Martin Maldonado, and even the Danny Espinosa and Cameron Maybin deals that did not really work out. As for the bullpen look for the Angels to re-sign possibly Yusmeiro Petit or Bud Norris although the second one is not as likely as the first.
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I think the Angels should look to bring back maybe Joe Smith or possibly a pitcher like Pat Neshek or Steve Cishek as side-armed relievers cause opponents a lot of problems. Another guy that could be good is Brandon Morrow. Morrow pitched very well for the Dodgers down the stretch and in the playoffs and has closer stuff which the Angels may need as I don’t think Cam Bedrosian is the answer.
Next: Is Mike Moustakas the answer at third?
We shall see on all of this as the next month should be very exciting for the Angels and their fans.