Depth and Healthy Competition
Last season was unkind to the Angels’ corner outfielders. Upton hit .204/.289/.422 and Adell hit .161/.212/.266. As of now, they are both projected to begin the season in the starting lineup. With Upton now recording back-to-back sub .220 seasons, and uncertainty surrounding Adell, the Angels need to make a move that would shake things up and give them more options.
If the Angels in fact do sign Dahl, Upton could split time between LF and DH as more of a platoon role with Ohtani. The Angels cannot afford to rely on Upton bouncing back next season. By bringing Dahl aboard, it may add extra motivation to Upton this offseason as his starting spot will no longer be secure. The same goes for Adell. With the addition of Dahl, it would create a healthy competition and will only make the Angels outfield better.
The move would also allow Taylor Ward to explore the possibility of moving back to catcher. It is clear that Ward is not part of the Angels’ outfield future, despite receiving the bulk of playing time in right field during the back stretch of the season, he still isn’t projected to begin the season as a starter. There was speculation before last season that the Angels were considering the transition back behind the plate for Ward, and this offseason should be no different. The Angels are in the market for a catcher as they’ve been linked to free agent James McCann. However, if Dahl is signed, they may not need to shell out for a backstop, and can just shift Ward to his original position.
By signing Dahl, it will create a domino effect of possibilities that will only make the Angels better, not just this year but in the long run, as well. Angels’ fans will hopefully return to Angel stadium in 2021, and if you plan on going, make sure you get tickets behind left field, you might get a front row seat to watch a bearded sweetie patrolling the position. Let’s make it happen.