With spring training underway, the remaining free agents will continue signing in the next few weeks. Whether or not the Angels will bring new faces into camp before the regular season starts remains to be seen.
A few weeks ago, Angels general manager Perry Minasian said there was a ‘possibility’ the organization adds more to the team, though the Halos feel comfortable with what they currently have. There is ~$18.8 million remaining in the 2021 payroll before the luxury tax penalty. Why wouldn’t the Minasian and owner Arte Moreno make moves if they present themselves?
That’s the big question that appears to have no answer. You wouldn’t think the team that has finished fourth in the AL West three seasons in a row and has made the postseason once in the last 11 seasons is satisfied with their current group.
The Angels have taken a low-risk and cost-effective approach this offseason, yet they passed on these two affordable relievers.
The Halos must be content if they let these two relievers fly under their radar this past week.
On Monday, the Nationals signed reliever Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal worth $1.25 million if he makes the roster.
Considering Jeffress was an NL Reliever of the Year finalist a season ago, it’s amazing there were no teams out there willing to offer him a little more for a guaranteed spot. This is assuming Jeffress didn’t take any pay cut, though I highly doubt any player would want to go into spring training on a minor league contract.
The 33-year old is a former All-Star and holds a career 3.08 ERA and 1.324 WHIP in 11 MLB Seasons.
The other bullpen option the Halos passed on was veteran Tyler Clippard. Not long after the Jeffress signing, the Diamondbacks and Clippard agreed to a one-year $2.25 million deal. Clippard, 36, holds a career 3.13 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in 14 seasons.
They’ve got plenty of miles on their arms, but both pitchers proved they were still reliable reliever options last summer.
- Jeremy Jeffress (CHC): 1.54 ERA 23.1 IP 0.943 WHIP
- Tyler Clippard (MIN) 2.77 ERA 26 IP 0.855 WHIP
I don’t see any scenario why the Angels would not want to bring either veteran into their bullpen. The Halos have a decent foundation of relievers, but it is not as if there is no room for more arms in their ‘pen. These cheap one-year deals would even go along with the low-risk, cost-effective approach Minasian and Moreno have taken this offseason.
After passing on Trevor Rosenthal and Yusmeiro Petit, the Angels have not countered with any moves against the division rival Athletics.
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Neither pitcher is going to blow hitters away with 95+ MPH fastballs, but they can still produce consistent outs.
There are still quality relievers on the market to choose from, but at this point, it appears the Angels front office and ownership believe the team is in a ‘decent spot’ to compete.