The LA Angels were one of the biggest winners this offseason. With key additions to fill holes, Shohei Ohtani‘s arrival, and an improved farm system, the Halos look completely different. However, they may have missed on out on a true ace in Jake Arrieta.
The LA Angels and general manager Billy Eppler had a plan this offseason. They were going to focus on improving their 22nd ranked offense and hope health in their starting rotation would solve the problems there.
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With the addition of Shohei Ohtani, the Angels are moving to a six-man rotation this season. They arguably have eight guys who can come in and be starters in the MLB. However, none of them are as proven as Jake Arrieta.
In what was really a down year for Arrieta in 2017, he still posted a stellar 3.53 ERA while striking out 162 batters. He had an 8.7 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate, and was absolutely worth the $75 million the Phillies are paying him the next three years.
The only question is, did the Angels miss out?
Ohtani is getting roughed up on the mound this Spring Training. He may be better off in the minors to start the season. Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards have looked good, but the injury history is haunting. The same can be said for Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano, who have shown flashes of excellence but also had poor moments.
The fact is, the Halos do not have a surefire, proven starting pitcher. Nor do they have a veteran who has seen the postseason and had success there. Arrieta might not be the same pitcher who led the Cubs to the World Series title in 2016, but he is not far off.
The Halos had a stellar offseason. However, missing out on Jake Arrieta and other top-tier pitchers could come back to haunt them later on this season.