Chuck Finley – SP (1990)
Every rotation needs a steady balance of right and left-handers to be effective. This helps keep teams off balance when playing multiple game series against one another to give the opponent a different look. While the Angels currently have Andrew Heaney and the newly signed Jose Quintana as locks for the current rotation, adding a solid lefty along with the right-handed presence of Ryan would help this Angels team. Enter Halos legend, Chuck Finley.
Some fans may not know this, but Finley is currently second on the Angels all-time leader board in the WAR category, behind only Mike Trout. Based on how the current roster, I don’t think that will change for a long time. Drafted fourth overall by the Halos back in 1985, the 6’6″ lefty debuted a year later with the club and primarily was used as a reliever for his first two years. Once moved to the rotation, Finley broke out in a big way for the team in 1989 when he compiled a 16-9 record with a 2.57 ERA, making his first All-Star team. Like Ryan, Finley approved on his best season, making this season the focal point for this team.
Chuck Finley is 2nd All-Time on the Angels WAR list.
In 1990 Finley went 18-9 for the 80-82 Angels, putting up some of the best numbers of his career. Also similar to the great Nolan Ryan, this season, Finley gathered Cy Young votes for the only time in his career and finished 7th. The winner that year, Bob Welch, won the award while putting up a 2.9 bWAR with the first-place Oakland Athletics while winning 29 games for the eventual World Series runner-up.
Finley was one of the most underrated pitchers of his time, and Angels fans were lucky to watch him for the 14 years he called Anaheim home. While he had a lot of success with his longevity, his only playoff appearance with the team was three games out of the bullpen as a rookie with the 1986 team. However, adding Finley to today’s team would bring the Angels a stud in the rotation and help get them back to the playoffs.