Angels Rumors: Halos interested in free-agent pitcher Jake Odorizzi
By Alfonso Cerna
With the offseason hot stove simmering this past week, the Angels are still searching for an ace of the rotation. One name the Halos are reportedly interested in is free-agent pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
This would mark the second acquisition of a starting pitcher this offseason for the Halos. On Tuesday, the Angels signed left-hander Jose Quintana to a one-year, $8 million deal.
I think Quintana is a solid middle of the rotation starter for Los Angeles, but the team still needs another option for the top of the rotation. Whether or not Odorizzi can pitch like a true No.1 for the Halos remains to be seen.
Is free-agent pitcher Jake Odorizzi the answer for the top of the Angels starting rotation?
The right-hander battled injuries last summer and made just four starts for the Twins. Odorizzi had some up and down seasons with Minnesota and Tampa Bay in his nine-year MLB career. Many around the league believe he’s got the talent to be a high-end rotation option, but his statistics might say otherwise.
Jake Odorizzi Last Five Seasons:
- 2016: (33 starts) (10-6, 3.69 ERA) 187.2 IP 1.194 WHIP 8.0 K/BB
- 2017: (28 starts) (10-8, 4.14 ERA) 143.1 IP 1.242 WHIP 8.0 K/BB
- 2018: (32 starts) (7-10, 4.49 ERA) 164.1 IP 1.345 WHIP 8.9 K/BB
- 2019: (30 starts) (15-7, 3.51 ERA) 159.0 IP 1.208 WHIP 10.1 K/BB (All-Star)
- 2020: (4 starts) (0-1, 6.59 ERA) 13.2 IP 1.390 WHIP 7.9 K/BB
Odorizzi, 30, made $17.8 million last season. Based on his numbers, I find it hard to believe he would receive a similar salary this offseason, especially considering how the market has changed. It’s safe to say a team might be willing to pay Odorizzi $10-$12 million per year.
That figure is based on past performance and upside. It also accounts for the lack of high-end starters on the market. The most sought-after free-agent pitcher? Trevor Bauer.
The Angels are believed to be the likely choice for Bauer, but his asking price might push the Halos in another direction. As of today, the Angels have around ~$24 million left on their payroll before hitting the luxury tax penalty. This does not line up with the record-breaking $36 million Bauer is asking for. I don’t think any team will cave into that amount of money, but Bauer should still see a deal in the $20+ million range.
This leaves general manager Perry Minasian and the Angels with one of two choices, assuming they don’t want to head into the luxury tax penalty in any scenario:
- The Angels sign Bauer but will have limited options for any other impact players this offseason.
- The Angels sign Odorizzi or a starting pitcher for a considerably lesser amount and spend their remaining payroll on high-level relievers or position players.
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Regardless of whichever choice owner Arte Moreno and Minasian choose, it will be a gamble. As for which decision makes the Angels a true contender, that is up to the fans to decide until proven otherwise later this season.