With the Washington Nationals recently picking up free agent reliever Will Harris, the overall free agent market seems to be dwindling and the LA Angels aren’t done looking for talent. As starting pitching should be the main concern for the team and is warranted by many fans, the Angels could also strengthen their bullpen.
There has been recent reports that the LA Angels are linked to Cleveland Indians starter, Mike Clevinger, and while nothing has seemed to transpire yet, there is a different pitcher they should look at in Brad Hand. Seeing as how the Indians appear to be in a fire sale already trading Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers, it wouldn’t make sense for them to keep their relievers seeing as how the Angels could bundle up a nice prospect package without giving up major pieces.
Last season, Hand finished with a 3.30 ERA, 34 saves, and a 1.2 WAR which was good enough for a All-Star appearance in 2019. While the Indians did use him in the closer role last season, that doesn’t mean the Angels need to, because they already have their closer in Hansel Robles. Hand could be an exceptional left-handed reliever in the bullpen and if whatever reason, Robles doesn’t have the right stuff during the season, Hand could step in.
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Another left-handed pitcher that the Angels could look at in the free agent market is Clayton Richard, who may be a possible buy-low option. While he was mostly used as a starter throughout his career, he could be another option that mixes up the hitters as the Angels are weak in the left-handed department for their bullpen.
He is someone who I believe Billy Eppler will take a look at in upgrading the bullpen assuming Eppler still wants to get low-risk high-reward players such as Richards could be. The Angels could also see him as an innings eater because of the amount of innings he has pitched in the past which included 158.2 innings in 2018 and 197.1 innings in 2017, it should be noted though that his numbers weren’t all that impressive.
The final relief pitcher that the Angels should consider in reaching out to getting is Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Jake McGee. While his numbers weren’t too impressive last season with a 4.35 ERA and a 0.4 WAR, keep in mind that he had to pitch in Coors field which is known to be a very hitter friendly ballpark.
Going to Anaheim would certainly benefit McGee as he would be transitioning to a ballpark more frequently known as a pitcher friendly ballpark and having Mickey Callaway as your pitching coach couldn’t hurt at all. While his contract may be the one situation the Angels would have to work out because he has a team option, the Angels should definitely take a closer look into getting this potentially effective reliever.