Angels current focus is back-end reliever, per report

Oct 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) points skyward
Oct 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) points skyward / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote an article (subscription required) citing everything he's heard at the Winter Meetings so far. Today has already been crazy with Justin Verlander leaving the Astros for the Mets. This makes them weaker, but they're still the favorites in this division.

Rosenthal had this to say about the Los Angeles Angels:

"The Angels are looking to upgrade at shortstop and remain in position to spend, but their immediate focus is a back-end reliever."

Ken Rosenthal - The Athletic

The Angels are still willing to spend which is great and a back-end reliever is definitely important.

The Angels currently have five relievers on their roster right now who I'd pencil into their 2023 bullpen. Those relievers include Jimmy Herget, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Jose Quijada, and Jaime Barria. They have pieces that have been good in the past in Loup and Tepera but struggled in 2022. Barria was great, but I believe will regress. Quijada has a live arm but hasn't proven much in the bigs.

The only high-end arm the Angels have here is Jimmy Herget, who came out of nowhere to have a fantastic 2022 with the Angels. I have confidence he can have another good year, but relievers are volatile. For the Halos to have an improved bullpen in 2023, they'll have to sign or acquire a couple of good arms.

In terms of back-end arms available, the best one is probably Kenley Jansen, but he's not great. There're guys like Andrew Chafin, Taylor Rogers, and Michael Fulmer who profile best as seventh or eighth inning arms. Edwin Diaz, the best reliever on the market by far, re-signed with the Mets and Rafael Montero, arguably the second best reliever on the market re-signed with the Astros.

Kenley would be interesting but he's older and had an inconsistent season with the Braves. He's clearly in decline but is still a good closer. Could he be the target?

If not the free agency market, maybe the Angels pursue a trade. It's hard to do with a depleted farm system like the one the Angels have, but not impossible. Maybe they'll revisit Alexis Diaz of the Reds?

It's good that the Angels acknowledge the need for a shortstop and a high-end reliever. It's time to fill those holes. Sign one of the star shortstops and bring in quality talent for the bullpen. Get it done, Perry.

Next. 3 ways to make the Winter Meetings a success for the Angels. dark