4 free agents Angels fans better hope don’t land in the AL West

Oct 8, 2022; New York City, New York, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts
Oct 8, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Angels have a hard enough division as is. The Astros are in the midst of a dynasty, winning their second World Series in the last six seasons, making the ALCS every year. The Mariners have one of the more exciting young rosters in baseball and just snapped their long postseason drought.

The Rangers struggled in 2022 but signed Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to massive deals, have a ton of exciting prospects, and have money to throw around for some pitching. The Athletics aren't really a concern.

Angels fans should expect the AL West to be even tougher in 2023 with the Rangers being better and the Astros and Mariners being just as good, if not better themselves.

Here are four free agents that Angels fans better hope don't come to the AL West

Justin Verlander - Houston Astros

The reigning AL Cy Young award winner is on the market and able to sign anywhere. He's been linked to teams like the Dodgers and Mets, who might be willing to throw him a ton of money. Angels fans should hope this happens so he does not return to Houston.

The Astros have probably the best rotation in all of baseball with Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, Christian Javier, Hunter Brown, and Jose Urquidy among the studs developed by the 'Stros. If they lost Verlander, they become substantially weaker.

After missing two seasons Verlander didn't miss a beat and had arguably his best season in the bigs, posting a 1.75 ERA in 28 starts. He won his second career Cy Young award.

The Astros will still be great without him, but Verlander takes their starting rotation to a whole other level when he's healthy and pitching like he did in 2022.