In years past, the LA Angels have gone the quantity route in free agency rather than the quality route. This offseason, that needs to change.
We all know how last offseason went for the LA Angels. With big name starter pitchers available, the Halos missed out on all of them and wound up spending big money on one-year deals for Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. Neither was an ace before the signing, and they definitely were not aces in Anaheim last year.
This winter, Billy Eppler needs to focus on one thing: quality. The Angels are under immense pressure to win and win now, and they need learn from their past mistakes if they hope to accomplish their lofty goals this offseason.
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There cannot be a Trevor Cahill or Matt Harvey this offseason. There needs to be an ace. With reports that the Angels are willing to spend any amount of money for Gerrit Cole, it’d honestly be disappointing if the team failed to land him at this point. He is the cream of the crop this offseason and prioritizing quality over quantity starts with Cole.
However, it continues on after Cole as well. The Angels took a chance on a comeback from Harvey last year and saw that fail. Cahill was good the year prior, but pitched in a pitcher-friendly park in Oakland. Regression was foreseeable.
So while the Angels need to start with Cole, the signings they make with the rest of their expanded budget need to be on pitchers they know can perform, not pitchers they hope can deliver. Most would agree that even if the Angels land an ace, they need two more pitchers after that if they truly hope to contend.
While finding value is important, the Eppler needs to realize the dire need the Halos have to compete.
Taking another risk on a bounce back candidate shouldn’t be what they’re looking for this offseason. Instead, sign the proven veterans (Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner) who are still exceptional mid-rotation pieces. If you believe in the young guys the Angels have, sign a Zack Wheeler or Hyun-Jin Ryu instead of two mid-rotation arms.
But do not sign another Trevor Cahill. And, for the love of God, do not spend on another player like Matt Harvey. The Angels don’t need five mediocre pitchers, they need an ace and some reliable help