With Winter Meetings in less than a week what can we expect from LA Angels GM Billy Eppler
LA Angels general manager Billy Eppler has been working overtime in recent weeks preparing for Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando starting next week. What Christmas gift will Santa Eppler give Angel fans.
The LA Angels had a lot of needs going into this off-season. They filled a big need when they re-signed Justin Upton to fill the left field void, but there is still more work to do. The Angels need both a second and third baseman and possibly a starting pitcher or a closer.
The Angels have been rumored or linked to numerous players at most of these positions. Some of the second base options mentioned are in no particular order Ian Kinsler, Neil Walker, Cesar Hernandez, and Dee Gordon.
Of these candidates Cesar Hernandez and Dee Gordon would be the best fits in my opinion because they both have speed and are left-handed (Hernandez is a switch-hitter. They also could be the answer at the lead-off spot for the team. Hernandez carries a lifetime OBP of .357 and has a career batting average of .282. Both Hernandez and Gordon have speed with Gordon stealing a career-high 60 bases.
The other candidates are Kinsler, and Walker could also be good although both are getting up in years and their best years may be behind them. A wild-card for the Angels to pursue is either to bring back Brandon Phillips who they acquired in a trade or pursue former Angel Howie Kendrick both of which are long shots.
As for third base the Angels are said to be content with Luis Valbuena if they need to be, but they have also talked a lot about Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. He would be an upgrade I believe, but is he worth a 15 to 18 million dollar per year price tag it would probably take to sign him. I say no. I’d go after Todd Frazier myself despite his low batting average (only .222 last season).
Frazier has averaged 32 homers 82 RBI’s over the past four seasons. That’s more than solid production. Another possibility is signing Zack Cozart who is a free agent shortstop from Cincinati. Cozart would most likely be moved to play third base.he final thing the Angels have to decide if they want to pursue is a starter and possibly a close. Their is no real rumors as to who the Angels are pursuing. A starter and a closer it may be good.
Next: Angels build up farm system
So things will be interesting over the next few weeks . We will just have to wait and see.