LA Angels News

LA Angels Weekly Buzz: Shohei Ohtani Speaks

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 09: Shohei Ohtani is seen onstage during a press conference introducing Ohtani to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 9, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 09: Shohei Ohtani is seen onstage during a press conference introducing Ohtani to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 9, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 05: J.A. Happ #34 of the New York Yankees reacts after being relieving in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 05: J.A. Happ #34 of the New York Yankees reacts after being relieving in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

The Halos don’t have the same kind of money the Dodgers and Yankees can flaunt, but they have been included in their fair share of rumors as well. So far, the team has been linked to three players, while also seeing a couple of possible fits scooped up by the Atlanta Braves.

Those two players were third baseman and former AL MVP Josh Donaldson and veteran catcher Brian McCann. Donaldson was likely a longshot to be signed by the Halos. Billy Eppler does not view third base as a position of need with Zack Cozart likely filling in as the starter in 2019 (whether that’s the right move or not). Donaldson’s price tag of $23 million was also far too expensive for an Angels front office looking to spend around $25-30 million this offseason.

While no reports linked McCann and the Halos, there could have been interest given the Angels’ interest in adding a veteran catcher at a cheap price. While McCann did sign with the team he spent the majority of his career with, there are still options on the free agent market for the Halos.

Free Agent Catchers For Halos to Sign. Related Story

The Angels have been connected to three names thus far, the only catcher being Wilson Ramos. Ramos spent the season with the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals. He put up a monster season, and made a case for being the best offensive catcher in baseball. Ramos won’t come cheap, as there are reportedly five teams in on two-time All Star. Despite his injury history, the Angels would be wise to make Ramos a priority this offseason.

Two pitchers have also been in the Angels’ sights, with the team being in on J.A Happ and Nathan Eovaldi. The two are both coming off solid years of different variety. Happ was absolutely solid throughout his 2018 season with the Blue Jays and Yankees, finishing with a stellar 2.69 ERA during his Yankees’ tenure.

Eovaldi was a good starter in the regular season, but made his case with an all-time great performance for the Red Sox in the World Series. He thrust himself into the upper tier of free agents with that performance, and the Angels seem ready to spend for the 28-year old righty.

Other Notes

  • Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese League team, was spotted at an Anaheim Ducks game. Kikuchi and Shohei Ohtani are former teammates, and the Angels seem like an obvious candidate for the star left-handed pitcher.
  • The Angels released infielder Jose Fernandez, who will be headed for free agency
  • 2017 star pitcher Parker Bridwell did not clear waivers, as the New York Yankees claimed his services on Monday
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