Velazquez was a hometown kid in the Bronx, and even had some Yankees fans preferring him over Gleyber Torres at shortstop at times late in the season. A quality defensive shortstop, he’s not much of an offensive player.
He hit .224/.235/.358 with just one homer, six RBI, and 11 runs this season. That being said, the Angels have now added two infielders on Friday with the selection of Brendon Davis’ contract to the 40-man roster as well.
Velazquez has value. Like Jared Tims of Talkin’ Halos points out, Velazquez provides utility with his abilities to play three different positions. While Velazquez is by no means a major name of the offseason, the Angels are clearly adding infield options. We haven’t seen that from the pithing side of things just yet.
The LA Angels are clearly setting their roster up to make a run at improving the pitching staff.
If the LA Angels were serious about prioritizing shortstop this offseason, they wouldn’t be adding bodies to the depth chart at short right now.
And the Angels desperately do need pitching. They know this, the fans know this, the players know this, everyone knows this. The lineup is going to be good no matter what next year.
Pitching is the reason we’ve missed the playoffs for seven straight years. The Angels have the money and the free agents available to acquire an elite starter (Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Robbie Ray, etc), another good starter (Anthony DeSclafani, Steven Matz, Alex Wood, etc), and still have enough money to grab a great bullpen arm like Kenley Jansen or Brad Hand.
Offseasons where we can make drastic improvements to a pitching staff like this don’t come around too often. The Halos need to take advantage of it, and they seem to finally get that.