The Los Angeles Angels made one of the first free agent signings of the offseason, inking Tyler Anderson on a three-year deal worth $39 million. At the time of the deal, this felt like a steal for Perry Minasian and the Angels.
Anderson had come off of a career year with the Dodgers and while it was unrealistic to expect him to be that sub-3.00 ERA pitcher he was in 2022, I did expect Anderson to be a quality innings eater - something this team lacked last season, and has lacked so far this season. Unfortunately, Anderson has been anything but quality.
Anderson had. been pitching better of late posting a 3.14 ERA in his last five starts, but after his latest disastrous outing in Chicago against the White Sox, His ERA sits at an ugly 5.47. He was twice handed leads, and each time gave them back instantly. Simply put, he's been nothing close to what we expected. His struggles have Angels fans wondering what if? These pitchers in similar tiers would've been better additions.
1) The LA Angels should've signed Nathan Eovaldi instead of Tyler Anderson
Nathan Eovaldi is an arm many Angels fans wanted, and saw walk over to a division rival. Eovaldi signed a two-year deal worth $34 million in a deal that can go up to three years for $63 million if he reaches his incentives. While this is slightly more AAV than Anderson got, the total dollar value wasn't as steep as the $39 million Anderson got, and Eovaldi got only two guaranteed years.
This deal did come with risk as he's dealt with injuries over the course of his career, but Eovaldi has been healthy and dominant for his hometown team.
In 11 starts, the right-hander is 7-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 74.1 innings of work. He leads the league in innings, while also leading the league with two complete games and one shutout. He doesn't walk anybody (1.7 BB/9) and he doesn't allow home runs (0.4 HR/9). He's been a lot of what Anderson was last season as a guy who limited mistakes with free passes and longballs, and a guy who can eat innings.
Eovaldi had a three-start stretch in which he pitched 25,2 scoreless innings, allowing just 11 hits and three walks to go along with 25 strikeouts. This included a complete game shutout against the Yankees, eight scoreless innings in Anaheim, and falling one out shy of a complete game shutout in Oakland. So yes, he was four outs shy of three straight complete game shutouts.
After allowing three runs in seven innings against the Braves, he delivered another complete game, allowing just one run in Pittsburgh. So yes, Eovaldi has been utterly dominant for Texas and is a huge reason they're in first place in the AL West.