Los Angeles Angels showing interest in JA Happ

The Angels need pitching and they could find it in the former Yankee.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network, the Los Angeles Angels are demonstrating serious interest in signing veteran starting pitcher JA Happ. Happ most recently spent time with the New York Yankees and is now 38 years of age.

JA Happ revitalized his career in 2018 when he was a deadline acquisition of the Yankees, dealt by the Toronto Blue Jays. He has been a member of the Yankees since that trade went down. Back in 2018, Happ tossed 177 2/3 innings while striking out over a batter per inning. In 2019, Happ posted a holistically poor season with a 4.91 ERA and 5.22 FIP in 161 1/3 innings of work.

In 2020, he came back and was something in between his 2018 and 2019 seasons. He lowered his ERA all the way down to a 3.47 mark, but his peripherals paint an entirely different picture. He allowed tons of hard contact and his xERA (expected ERA) suffered.

While Happ will likely be cheap on the open market and will represent a back-end arm to fill out the rotation, these are the types of guys the Angels need to stop signing. They should be scanning the market for upside instead of pitchers who are already washed. Dylan Bundy was a prime example of what the Angels should do — look how that turned out. Happ is almost 40 years old and not everyone can be Rich Hill.

The Angels should either be looking at the top flight starting pitching on the market like Trevor Bauer or should be looking to add speculative young pitching. Staying in between is what gets the Angels to a near .500 winning percentage every season but gets them kept out of the playoffs. The time to stop being mediocre is now — wasting the primes of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon would be a travesty.