The LA Angels didn’t make the splash they wanted in the rotation this winter, but the acquisitions of Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran bring reliability to the rotation. However, as we know, you can never have too much starting pitching.
That’s why these five names make sense for the LA Angels. While none of these names are going to headline a rotation, they can offer depth and can come out the bullpen if needed. None of these pitchers are going to cause the Angels to break the bank, either.
Having spent most of his career in Houston, Collin McHugh has been used as both a starter and reliever. While his numbers are far better when he comes out of the bullpen, McHugh has also owned a 4.14 career ERA as a starter. Obviously that’s not going to make anyone’s jaw drop, but bringing in someone with this type of versatility would be a wise move for the Angels.
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The case for signing Rich Hill is simple. When healthy, he is still a dominant pitcher who posts absurd strikeout rates. The argument against signing Rich Hill is equally simple. He hasn’t made over 25 starts since 2007, and only made 13 starts for the Dodgers last year. While I’d be all for signing Rich Hill, it’d have to be on a contract with little guaranteed money and high incentives.
Of these pitchers, none had more season-long success than Homer Bailey. He made 31 starts last season, posting a 4.57 ERA overall. It’s obvious that Bailey isn’t the same pitcher he was earlier in the decade, but he has been able to carve out a nice role for himself in the twilight of his career. If he could stay in the rotation for the Wild Card Oakland A’s last year, he surely could handle a spot with the Angels going into 2020.
I wrote an in-depth piece about why I believe Alex Wood should be a main target for the Angels at this point in the offseason earlier this week, which you can read here. To run it down, Wood has been a phenomenal pitcher when healthy throughout his career. He disappointed in 7 starts last season, but his 2020 could be a huge bounce back season if he can fully heal from the back injury that derailed his 2019 campaign.
While he’s yet to have a season with 30+ starts, Taijuan Walker had been relatively durable prior to a UCL injury that required Tommy John surgery. Walker did come back and pitch a scoreless inning in the Diamondbacks’ final game of the season. With a career 3.95 ERA, Walker now has an entire offseason to get back to his pre-injury form. At just 27-years old, Taijuan Walker is the ultimate lottery ticket this winter for MLB teams in need of starting pitching.