While it was never reported that the LA Angels had significant interest in signing Madison Bumgarner, seeing him go to another team with such a low AAV hurts.
Honestly, the LA Angels are probably better without giving Bumgarner a contract. He would have cost them a draft pick due to his qualifying offer, and the team is already short on those after signing Anthony Rendon and dealing away four prospects in the Dylan Bundy trade.
However, MadBum was the last free agent pitcher with a qualifying offer, meaning the Angels could be ramping up their activity now. These five pitchers may not be as talented as Bumgarner, but they’ll be cheaper and are better fits for the Angels moving forward.
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I know they’re two different pitchers coming off two very different seasons, but have the same case to be the main targets for the Angels. I’ve touched on both individually prior to this. Click here for more on Ryu’s seemingly perfect fit, and here for more on why the Rendon signing makes Keuchel a more attractive option.
Basically, they’re both soft-tossing left-handed pitchers who will play directly into the deadly pair of defenders the Angels now have with Rendon and Simmons on the left side of their infield. Neither would cost an extreme amount, and would allow the Angels to continue building their roster after signing.
I just wrote about him yesterday, but Julio Teheran is a near perfect fit. He’s widely underrated and wouldn’t cost the team as much as a mid-rotation arm should. For a more in-depth breakdown, click here, but I love Teheran enough to put his name in another article. Teheran would give the Angels 30+ starts of sub-4.00 ERA pitching like he has throughout his entire career, and the team could pair him with a Ryu/Keuchel signing.
After signing Bumgarner, the Diamondbacks could make their former ace Robbie Ray even more available via trades. They have a load of in-house starting pitching talent, and the name of the game in the MLB is finding value on players. They may view Ray as dispensable, and despite a let down 2019 season from him, the Angels should be all-in if Robbie Ray is made available.
He struggled down the stretch in Houston, but Wade Miley is the innings eater type of pitcher the Angels should target to fill out their rotation. He essentially a poor man’s Dallas Kuechel as a southpaw without an elite strikeout rate. Like the aforementioned Keuchel and Ryu, he’s an old school pitcher who relies on an elite defense to get him through games. Luckily, the Angels just so happen to have the best defensive infield in baseball.
This isn’t my favorite move, but isn’t an awful last resort for the Angels. If they can get David Price in a pure salary dump from the Red Sox, it could be a solid steal for the Angels. 22 starts and a 4.28 ERA in 2019 doesn’t sound great, but it is a lot better than what the team had last year. If going from Fenway – where lefty pitchers struggle – to The Big A helps Price even a little bit, he could see a rebound season in 2020 should the Angels pull the trigger on reuniting Price and manager Joe Maddon.