Anybody who watched the Angels the last couple of seasons know that one of the biggest things that the team lacks is quality pitching. Clayton Kershaw could be the answer if he opts out of his contract.
Clayton Kershaw has been one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball over the past 10 years. He has been downright dominant during this time period averaging close to 15 wins per season and never posting an ERA over 3.00 for season in his career except for his rookie year (4.26).
Three different years Kershaw posted a 2.00 ERA and twice he has won 21 games in a season. He has won the NL Cy Young Award three times and finished second twice. Kershaw is a seven-time all-star and he also won the NL MVP Award in 2014 when he went 21-3 and posted a 1.77 ERA. His career WHIP is 1.005 and he has 2,275 strike outs with only 536 walks which is a 4 to 1 strikeout/walk ratio.
Wouldn’t #22 look good in Angel red? Well let’s examine everything. On one hand Kershaw would be a Godsend for the Angels rotation who had only one pitcher surpass 10 wins this season. Kershaw is a competitor, and could provide a lot of leadership to a younger staff. However, there are some risks involved in pursuing Kershaw.
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While Kershaw numbers are eye-popping the question is will they continue to be stellar with his recent drop in velocity. Kershaw used to throw 95-96 MPH to 91-93 MPH on his fastball. Not to mention the fact Kershaw has had back issues over the past couple of seasons. If you are going to pay the money to get an ace pitcher you need to make sure that ace pitcher your investing in is medically sound or it is not a smart decision and it could come back to haunt you.
If Kershaw is healthy he is one of the best pitchers in baseball as is evident by his numbers that were mentioned in the first part of this story. The Angels have been burned too many times getting damaged goods on the decline and has still haunted them today (Albert Pujols and before Josh Hamilton).
The Angels do need pitching in the worst way, but an invst in Clayton Kershaw is not worth the risk in my opinion. I think most Angel fans will probably agree with this, but the Angels do need to make some moves to bolster their rotation and bullpen as well and this should be their top priority other than re-sign Mike Trout.