With less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the clock is ticking on Angels general manager Perry Minasian to make last-minute roster improvements.
On Monday, the Angels traded for Orioles starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Statistically, the move doesn’t exactly increase the team’s World Series odds. The trade for Cobb actually decreased the Angels projected 2021 rotation ranking on Fangraphs.
However, the intangibles Cobb brings to the clubhouse are some of the values Minasian sees in this trade. The Angels GM recently spoke on the current status of the team via conference call on Wednesday, as reported by Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register.
"“This is the type of player that has a huge impact on the guys around him,” Minasian said. “I look forward to having a Canning, a (Patrick) Sandoval, a Heaney, a Bundy with these types of guys. I think he’s not only going to help us on the mound, but he’s going to make us better in the locker room and help other guys improve."
Cobb joins the committee of one-year rental players Minasian has stocked this offseason. Until proven otherwise, the lack of impact additions makes me believe the front office and ownership are simply hoping for the best in 2021.
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If the Angels are contending by the July deadline, they can acquire the high-level pitcher they haven’t up to this point. Otherwise, Cobb and the other one-year additions will be traded for a head start on a retooling if this team falls out of contention.
The Angels may be in a ‘decent spot’, but GM Perry Minasian will need to make an improvement at some point to build a legitimate contender.
This current group could keep the Halos competitive, but why hope for the best when there are guaranteed improvement opportunities? It doesn’t sound like Minasian and the Angels are in any rush to make a move in the next few weeks.
"“We’re always looking to add depth and impact,” Minasian said. “That’s something we’ll continue to pursue as the season goes along. But right now we feel like we’re in a decent spot.”"
Being in a “decent spot” doesn’t win championships. An organization needs to have an all-in type of mentality, which is not the case at this moment. The only thing that can change this notion is if the current group of players gets off to a hot start.
A winning team will give owner Arte Moreno and Minasian more reasons to do whatever it takes to build a legitimate contender.
"“We have the ownership group, Arte and Carole Moreno, and they’re more than willing to add to this club,” Minasian said. “If the right situation’s out there that makes sense, we’ll look to improve the rotation, the bullpen, the position player group, anywhere we can.”"
When that “right situation” will occur remains to be seen. Apparently, it wasn’t “right enough” for Blake Snell or Yu Darvish, who the Padres traded for in a span of 24 hours. That right moment also wasn’t for Joe Musgrove or Jameson Taillon, both of whom were traded by the Pirates. The list goes on.
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Whether they like it or not, the Angels will need to take a risk at some point if they plan on competing for a World Series any time soon. Otherwise, it’ll be more wasted seasons for the Halos’ most talented players, and we’ll always wonder, what if?