LA Angels: Why the Anthony Rendon signing will pay off
Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout will become the foundation of a championship Angels team
The Los Angeles Angels won their only World Series championship in 2002. But while they have won six division titles since, they have yet to make another World Series appearance since.
Angels ownership recognizes that they have a unique opportunity ahead of them. They have the best player of the current generation in Mike Trout and an international superstar in Shohei Ohtani. Trout is inked through the 2030 season, while Ohtani can be a free agent following the 2023 season. In order to capitalize on the window that pair represents, the team needed to add another piece to the puzzle to help push them over the hump.
By signing Rendon to a six-year deal, the Angels are putting themselves into a position to create a three-headed monster for the next several seasons. That covers all four years of Ohtani’s guaranteed time in Los Angeles, and then two years after.
However, it also does a little bit more.
Pujols’ contract comes off the books in two seasons, and coupled with Ohtani’s pre-arbitration salaries, the Angels will have some financial flexibilities to continue to pursue the pitching help the team will need long-term. Additionally, the team will also have the selling point of a powerful line-up to work with, providing pitchers with the expectation that they will be supported throughout the entirety of their deal.
That will be a big deal with arms like Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, Jake Odirrizzi, and Robbie Ray leading the pitching class in the 2020-2021 free agency period. The 2022 class also featured plenty of fire-power, although at a much more advanced age.
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The signing of Anthony Rendon will pay immediate dividends in 2020 (if and when a season begins) but it is just the first step in what will be a bigger puzzle. It is all about building a championship team around one of the best players of all-time, and the pieces are starting to fall into place.