It's safe to say the 2023 offseason will be another one in which the Los Angeles Angels look for reinforcements for their bullpen in free agency.
The bullpen actually does have some decent pieces in it with Carlos Estevez, Ben Joyce, Sam Bachman, and Jose Soriano all projected to be a part of it. The problem is, the depth is non-existent and arms like Jose Quijada and Austin Warren who might have been a part of it are on the IL after undergoing Tommy John Surgery earlier this season.
The Angels will look to improve a bullpen that had some good moments in 2023 but still finished with a 4.88 ERA. 25th in the majors. ERA isn't everything, but they were also 27th in fWAR and tied with the seventh most blown saves in the majors.
These are arms Perry Minasian needs to stay far away from, whether it's because of a large financial commitment or expected regression.
1) Josh Hader
I know, I know. Josh Hader is one of, if not the best reliever in all of baseball. He's on the right side of 30 and is coming off a dominant year in San Diego. All true. Those are reasons why the team should not be pursuing him.
In 61 appearances for the Padres Hader posted a 1.28 ERA, striking out 85 batters in 56.1 innings pitched. He allowed just three home runs all year and converted 33 saves in 38 tries. It's hard to find a negative with Josh Hader. Again, that's why the team should not be pursuing him.
This Angels team has a ton of holes. Especially if Shohei Ohtani leaves. Giving what will likely be a nine-figure contract to a reliever would be bad news for this Angels team, especially because of how volatile they are. Yes, even Josh Hader falls into this category.
When the Padres first acquired him at the 2022 trade deadline, he randomly went from dominant to a shell of himself. It got so bad to the point where he was removed from his closer role for a couple of outings.
Edwin Diaz signed a five-year deal worth $102 million last offseason. Hader could easily get more. He'll at least get around that number. As fun as it'd be to get a guy who'll likely be lights out, it's too much money when there're many other holes for such a volatile position.