There are two free agents that Jon Becker of Fangraphs has reported are guys the Angels may have interest in. They’re both very highly-touted, and one is a household name.
Justin Verlander and Trevor Story will certainly be of major help for the LA Angels.
Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in the game, and Trevor Story has the potential to be one of the best shortstops in the game. He has been before, as he was an All-Star in both 2018 and 2019, hitting .293/.355/.561 (.916 OPS) with 72 home runs over the course of those two seasons.
He drove in 108 runs in 2018, and scored 111 in 2019. Stealing 50 bags between the two years, he also has solid speed. He had a good year in the shortened 60-game 2020 season as well, hitting .289/.355/.519 (.874 OPS) while clubbing a league-leading four triples, 11 HRs, and driving in 41 runs.
According to Anthony Castrovince, he’s the fifth best free agent on the market. The Halos have a major need at shortstop, having to release Jose Iglesias towards the end of the season after receiving no production from him.
As for the Halos’ biggest need, Starting Pitcher Justin Verlander is going to be a force to be reckoned with when he comes back from injury. He always is, and as long as he’ll be good to go for next year, Anaheim needs to make it happen.
He’s been getting older, but the last full season he was healthy enough to pitch in, he was lights out and won his second Cy Young.
He posted a 2.58 ERA, and posted an unreal 0.803 WHIP. He surrendered just 5.5 hits per nine innings, walked just 1.7, and struck out an absurd 12.1.
It’s a great thing that the Angels might be in on him, because the former AL MVP is truly one of the greatest pitchers we’ve ever seen. He also of course has lots of experience pitching in this division. Taking him from the rival Astros would be a great bonus.
Both these guys are top-tier options at each of their positions, and the Angels will be much improved next year if they can pull these moves off.