The Los Angeles Angels are in desperate need of a frontline starter whether Shohei Ohtani returns or not, because Ohtani cannot pitch in 2024. One available pitcher is Blake Snell, and the Angels are reportedly interested in signing him.
Snell was obviously elite in 2023 as he took home the NL Cy Young award. That was the second Cy Young he's won in his career. Snell is more than capable when it comes to putting together an elite season, but doing so in consecutive seasons has never happened in his career. The inconsistency is something to worry about when considering signing him to a monster free agent deal.
Instead of inking the inconsistent Snell, the Halos should look into signing one of these three pitchers to lead their rotation.
1) Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Nobody is getting more hype around the league than Yoshinobu Yamamoto other than Shohei Ohtani. Yamamoto is making the move from Japan to MLB and is expected to receive an enormous free agent deal.
The right-hander has won three straight Sawamura Awards, and is arguably the best Japanese player to make the move to the United States other than Shohei Ohtani. He has elite stuff, and is projected to be a bonafide ace.
The most appealing thing when it comes to Yamamoto other than how dominant he is as a pitcher is his age. At just 25 years old he'd fit right into this rotation alongside the other youngsters the Angels have. He's also much younger than any of the other frontline free agent starters. Snell for example is turning 31 in December, so there's a six-year difference. That is obviously massive.
If the Angels were to sign Yamamoto to the eight or nine year deal he's likely going to get, that'd take him through his age 33 or 34 season. He wouldn't be in complete decline like a guy like Snell would be after his long-term deal. There's risk involved in signing Yamamoto as he hasn't pitched in the majors, but there's also risk in signing Snell as you never quite know what you're going to get from him.