A long offseason following a disappointing 2020 season for the Angels has finally come to an end. We are officially in the second week of player workouts and less than two days away from the Halos preseason game on February 28.
After finishing fourth in the AL West with a record of 26-34, the organization knew it had to make some changes. The Angels removed Billy Eppler as general manager and replaced him with former Braves Assistant GM Perry Minasian.
In addition to front office changes, there have been moves to strengthen the on-field talent. Since taking over as general manager, aside from filling the closer and shortstop position with the Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias trades, Minasian has seemed to take a ‘quantity over quality’ approach to fill other needs.
With many capable options leading to fewer roster spots, this spring will feature positional battles across the field for the Angels.
In a perfect world, the Angels would sign the top free agents and trade for high-level players. As we all know, that is not the world we live in, as they’ve missed out on Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, and Yu Darvish. The Angels don’t have the financial space or depth in their farm system to add top talent. They are forced to take an alternate game-plan. While that approach is not every team and fan’s first choice, it can pay off if done right.
When this team-building strategy is deployed, it often makes spring training more interesting. It not only serves as a warm-up to the season but now, a tryout. With the quantity method, there are now more capable players than open spots. That may seem counter-productive, but with the Angels’ history of bad-injury-luck and poor performances, it’s a nice change of pace from recent years to have that organizational depth barring the unforeseen.
The Angels front office has set the stage for spring training to feature battles all around the diamond. To get the most out of watching games as a fan, it is important to know all the candidates for the open positions.
Let’s go over them now.