LA Angels: Offseason Progress Report
As we come closer to the end of the year, I recently posted a poll on Twitter on how LA Angels fans would assess the offseason assuming the Angels don’t sign Hyun-Jin Ryu. The ranking went similar to a school grading scale, A, B, C, and D to which this piece will focus on my own grade for the team.
The percentages of the actual poll went as listed: A was at 6%, B was at 42%, C was at 42%, and D was at 10%. Both B and C were tied in percentage which is something that I was thinking would happen considering the Angels making a move at a huge free agent signing in Anthony Rendon. However, Billy Eppler has failed to acquire a legitimate ace in the rotation this offseason as he has made some moves to add length to the rotation in Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran.
One thing that I noticed that possibly won’t to a surprise to many is that Anthony Rendon is Billy Eppler’s first major free agent signing. While he did extend Mike Trout to a record-breaking contract, that was locking up talent that the club already had and was a major task he had coming into Anaheim.
With Eppler looking for a possible extension with the Angels after next season, he needed to make a splash in free agency to not only put the Angels in the conversation for contending, but for his own job. The Angels owner, Arte Moreno, made it public that the payroll was going to increase in the offseason, giving Eppler the flexibility to sign a key free agent and to not give him an excuse for not getting anything this offseason. While Anthony Rendon certainly makes the Angels lineup look better and with adding protection for Trout, Eppler failed to get a standout starting pitcher that certainly impact a rotation desperate for help.
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The Angels could essentially make moves during the season to add to the rotation, especially if they are contenders towards the trade deadline, but prices may vary depending on how those starters perform. I guess Angels fans would have to look at this situation as either the glass half full or the glass half empty due to the fact that Rendon certainly solves the one problem the Angels had at third base. However, the lack of significant starting pitching would make me believe why Angels fans would look at this offseason as the glass half-full.
The glass half full people are the ones that voted B for the poll and I believe why is because they recognize the extraordinary move in getting Anthony Rendon, but also see the Angels not being able to acquire the starting pitching needed. Of course, things could still happen for the Angels and they acquire a significant starting pitcher for the respectable price, which is another thing I believe these types of fans are thinking as well. The Angels are also in need of a catcher and it’s starting to become worrisome as Martin Maldonado came off the board going to the White Sox. However, I and possibly many other Angels fans, probably think that the Angels will no doubt get a catcher either via trade or what remains from the free agent market, which one name that keeps coming up is Jason Castro.
The ones that voted C for the poll are possibly looking at the offseason as the glass half empty because of the fact the Angels haven’t gotten a front-line starter yet. They possibly like the addition of Rendon, but see the starting pitching as being a more worrisome issue that even a huge signing like Rendon can’t fix. I could also see myself in this category as I like many other Angels fans, are concerned for the rotation and the actual quality that the current starters could provide for the staff. They could also see the catcher vacancy as a desperate move the Angels need to make in order to help solidify the rotation in terms of pitch framing and helping out the pitching staff.
I wanted to sum up both A and D on the grading scale quickly because of the small amount that voted for them. For those that voted for A, I would believe that they are very pleased with the signing of Anthony Rendon and that they aren’t as concerned with the starting rotation as many fans are. The other side of the grading scale is D, which I believe these fans are frustrated with the lack of quality starting pitching and that the Anthony Rendon won’t factor too much into the win column as pitching is still a major issue in their eyes.
Finally, I would like to give my own grade for the Angels this offseason and that would be a B. It is because I love the addition for Rendon, and what it gives to our lineup with added protection for Trout and the thought of limitless runs being generated. However, this isn’t the perfect offseason as the Angels still have major issues in the starting rotation and they seem to not be filling them out. The additions of Bundy and Teheran add length and depth to the rotation which certainly helps the Angels and their bullpen which can now be more effective. I am trying to see all sides of the poll and the possible ideas as to why fans chose the letter grade that they did as when it comes down to it, we all want to see the Angels succeed.