To say this offseason has been a disappointment would be a massive understatement. The Los Angeles Angels saw Shohei Ohtani walk to their crosstown rivals after they foolishly refused to match the contract he got from the Dodgers, and have done absolutely nothing noteworthy in response.
The hiring of Ron Washington was a good one, and adding extra pitching depth is always good, but this team that they have as of this moment is largely made up of players who were on the 73-89 team this past season. Oh yeah, that team won 73 games with the AL MVP on their side.
While we had hoped for a more active offseason from the Angels, it's possible they could be saving their money with next offseason in mind. While this offseason featured a weak free agency class, next offseason is a much deeper group with stars all over the place. The Angels could be saving their money to pursue any of these five future free agents.
5) Corbin Burnes
The only reason the Brewers would ever consider trading a pitcher as talented as Corbin Burnes is because he's a free agent at the end of the 2024 season. With Milwaukee being a small-market team that has shown almost no willingness to spend big money on anyone, the chances Burnes walks away are pretty high. If he does, the Angels will presumably be in the front of the line. There are several reasons for that.
Burnes grew up in Southern California and was an Angels fan. The idea of coming home to play for the team he grew up rooting for has to be of interest a little bit, right? With the Angels in desperate need of starting pitching, Burnes is arguably the best arm they can get.
He's coming off a bit of a down year in 2023 but still finished in the top eight in the NL Cy Young balloting. He's finished in the top eight in each of the last four years including winning the Cy Young Award in the 2021 season. He'll be 30 years old when he hits free agency, so he'll likely have several prime years left.
The Angels need combined with Burnes' love of his childhood team could make this an actual match. It's hard to trust that Arte Moreno would outbid teams for anyone at this point, especially a pitcher, but Burnes is a realistic target.