Upgrading the starting rotation.
It is no secret that the biggest issue with the Angels this season was its starting pitching. The Angels had the second worst ERA in baseball by their starters at 5.64. That being said there was a lot of injuries that caused the Angels to dig deeper into their farm system and bring up a few pitcher who were probably not ready for the majors. With that being said,, the Angels only have three pitchers that can be counted on to be solid rotation pieces in 2020 Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, and Griffin Canning.
Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez had some good outings, but may still need some more time in Triple-A before being effective in the majors. Felix Pena will be coming off a knee injury which you never know how that will pan out and Jaime Barria like Suarez and Sandoval was not consistent when called upon. So the Angels at the very least need two good starters, with one of them being an ace.
The team has been linked to Gerrit Cole for the past couple of months and will most likely be the number one target in the off-season. It is by no means a done deal as Cole will be the one setting the market for free agent pitchers and will have at least 10 serious suitors for his talents. Not to mention his agent is Scott Borass (not it’s not a typo it is an opinion) who will try to drive the price up as high as possible for his client’s services.
It is a known fact that Arte Moreno does not like dealing with Borass clients because he has done him wrong in the past. (Mark Teixeira deal where he used Angels to drive up the price and then he signed with the Yankees). With this being said it will be interesting to see if Borass and Moreno will play nice enough to get a deal done for Cole.
Cole is not the only fish in the sea with Madison Bumgarner and Jake Ordorizzi could be two solid options for the Angels to pursue and also they are both not Scott Borass clients like Cole. Stephen Strasburg is another option, but his injury risk and the fact that he is also a Borass client makes him not as likely to be a pitcher the Angels will pursue.
If the Angels do not address this situation properly, then it will not matter who the Angels hire as a manager they will struggle to succeed.