Now, Joel Sherman of MLB Network heard that there were 14-19 other teams in attendance, so it’s not like the Angels are the only ones in on Verlander. It’s certainly great that the Angels were there, however, even though Verlander only showed about 25 pitches. The Halos need to be aggressive in trying to sign him.
There are national media members that also see Verlander as a great target for the Angels. Sean Casey, former three-time All-Star first baseman and current MLB Network analyst, made a strong push for Anaheim to pick up Verlander.
Sean Casey is 100% right in his take that the LA Angels would be a great fit for Justin Verlander.
Justin Verlander can handle the spotlight that comes with playing in LA. He’s pitched in four different World Series, and has 31 playoff appearances (30 starts). As Casey said, the Angels need to get Mike Trout to the playoffs, and the reason Trout hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014 is due to the starting pitching of this ballclub.
It’s routinely let the team down, and if we have a chance to pick up a former AL MVP who has multiple Cy Young Awards and an ERA title, we need to do it. Pitchers of Verlander’s caliber aren’t on the market all too often. He’s of course coming off of an injury, but if there’s anyone to trust coming off of an injury like this, it just may be the eight-time All-Star in Verlander.
Not too many pitchers have ever been better than the former pitching Triple Crown winner, and Verlander has seemed to get better with age.
In his last two full seasons (2018 and 2019), Verlander recorded a 2.55 ERA, an 0.851 WHIP, a 172 ERA+, and struck out 12.2 batters per nine innings and walked just 1.6 batters per nine innings.
The idea that spending on Verlander right now is poor timing is actually untrue. If he’s healthy for next year, then it’s absolutely the right timing. The Angels would be getting one of the best pitchers of all time who’s played some of his best baseball in his latest seasons.
It’s a risk worth taking if he’s medically cleared up for 2022, and he’s pitched in the AL every year of his 16-year career. He’s pitched in this division since he was traded to it in 2017, and knows how to get outs against the teams we’re going to need him for the most.
And they’re going to be able to out-bid teams if Verlander does indeed reject the Qualifying Offer ($18.4 million). This team has plenty of money they can spend this offseason, with $3.6 billion man Arte Moreno running the show.
And we’re going to get somebody good. Everybody knows that we’re going to land someone massive this winter. As Stephen Nelson said on the show:
“If anybody’s trying to guess about free agents with pitchers, just write Angels for all of them and you’re gonna hit. You’re gonna get at least one right.”