LA Angels: Multiple marquee free agents are still within reach
By Luke Graham
The Los Angeles Angels were close on bringing in James McCann as their backstop. What’s this mean for the rest of the offseason?
According to Maria Torres of the LA Times, the Los Angeles Angels finished a close second in the James McCann sweepstakes capping out a year under what the Mets offered. James McCann looks to be the primary backstop for the New York Mets moving forward.
The former backstop of the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers was the second most sought after catcher on the market behind arguably the best at the position in, JT Realmuto. McCann split time last year with Yasmani Grandal who was signed to be the White Sox backstop moving forward last offseason. While the Angels didn’t land McCann, it shows they are players for top guys.
McCann finished the 2020 season slashing .289/.360/.536 and had an OPS of .896. McCann’s career numbers are nothing to be in awe of, but the backstop made his first all-star game in 2019 and looks to be ascending as he is going into his age 31 season.
So now what for the Angels? Pitching is the top priority based off of the way last season shook out. Them going after McCann makes it seem like they may be trying to pull in another backstop as well.
Options for the Angels
Realmuto is the top free-agent position player available and judging from the McCann rumors, a position the Angels are looking to upgrade. Realmuto would bring more pop to the lineup and could be dangerous if mixed in with guys like Trout and Rendon. However, defensively, Max Stassi is still strong behind the plate and is obviously much cheaper.
Last year, the Angels missed out on his former college teammate, Gerrit Cole and maybe can make up for that this offseason with signing Bauer. Bauer will bring a fun personality to the clubhouse along with his 2020 CY Young trophy. The righty is coming off of a great season where he put together a sub 2.00 ERA and 100 strikeouts over 73 innings while walking only 17.
The Reds for some reason, don’t seem to want to compete in 2020 and rumors are out there that they are shopping Sonny Gray. Since joining the Reds Gray has put together a 3.07 ERA and 277 strikeouts over 231 innings pitched. He made the all-star game in 2019 and finished the year with over 200 punch-outs.
Spotrac shows Gray is owed around 10 million each of the next two years and a team option in 2023 for 12 million. He would come in and immediately become the ace and add a missing piece that the Angels are in serious need of. While the haul may be a lot to get him, they did just get his teammate from a year ago, Raisel Iglesias in a steal, and maybe could do the same with Gray.
While the Los Angeles Angels may have struck out on McCann, they seem like they are going to make more moves this offseason. The window is there for them to compete for the division. All it takes sometimes is just getting into October after that, anything can happen.