The LA Angels have failed to make any big time signings so far this offseason. While they are certainly an improved team, there is one more piece that needs to be bolstered, and it might be soon.
Per reports, the LA Angels are in “constant contact” with the San Francisco Giants. Unfortunately, the talks are not for ace southpaw Madison Bumgarner, but rather for a couple of other left-handed arms that could address the Angels’ biggest need.
While the Angels have improved the majority of their roster this offseason, the bullpen has arguably gotten worse with the loss of Blake Parker and the trade of Jose Alvarez fro Luis Garcia. Now, however, the Angels are looking to grab two exceptions relievers from their neighbors up North.
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While the Giants have mostly been shopping Madison Bumgarner as they begin their rebuild, Duane Kuiper did admit that both Will Smith and Tony Watson are both trade options this offseason. Two relievers who are 29 and 33-years old, respectively, do not exactly fit into a roster that is looking to tank.
Alvarez was the Angels’ only left-handed option out of the bullpen last season, so adding two veterans, especially of Smith and Watson’s caliber (2.55 ERA and 2.59 ERA respectively), would help shift the Angels’ bullpen from a weakness to a strength.
As of now, the Angels’ bullpen is missing a bona fide closer and left-handed specialists. A trade for Smith and Watson would absolutely fill the need for left-handed relief, while also potentially opening up the bullpen and allowing others to focus on closing games.
While the price would not be cheap to acquire the two arms, a couple of mid-tier prospects might be enough for the tanking Giants to pull the trigger. Watson’s contract expires this season (he does own a player option, however) while Smith would be entering his third and final year of arbitration before being eligible for free agency in 2020.
With the Angels looking to jump a weakened Oakland A’s team in the AL West this year, trading for Smith and Watson (who played home games approximately 16 miles from the A’s last year) would be a huge step for Billy Eppler and Co.