Angels lose Jordan Hicks bidding war but this time they have an excuse

The Angels did lose out on Jordan Hicks, but for a good reason.

Sep 13, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) throws a
Sep 13, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) throws a / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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With the Los Angeles Angels in desperate need of some late-game bullpen help, Jordan Hicks was an option thought of by Angels fans as a realistic one. The Angels were even reportedly interested in signing him early this offseason. He was coming off a dominant season with the Cardinals and Blue Jays, and at just 27 years old, seemed like someone who could anchor this Angels bullpen for multiple years.

When news first broke from ESPN's Jeff Passan that Hicks had signed with the Giants, this felt like yet another free agent the Angels let slip away. Remember, this is an Angels team that has done virtually nothing since losing Shohei Ohtani to the crosstown rival Dodgers.

Losing Hicks undoubtedly hurts, but considering the fact that he got his four-year deal worth $44 million to be a starting pitcher, it hurts a whole lot less.

LA Angels could've used Jordan Hicks out of the bullpen, but don't need to take the gamble on him as a starting pitcher

In addition to their obvious need in the bullpen, the Angels are a team in desperate need of some starting pitching help. That's another area where Ohtani's departure hurts, and the Angels have once again done virtually nothing to improve in that area. While Hicks certainly has the upside to be a quality starting pitcher in this league, it's far from a guarantee. The last thing the Angels need is to throw four-year offers at major risks like this.

Hicks has made eight career starts in his five-year MLB career. They all came in the 2022 season in a failed attempt by the Cardinals to convert him into a starting pitcher. After that failed Hicks resumed his reliever role, and put together arguably his best season in 2023.

His career-high in innings pitched is 77.2, and that came back in his rookie year of 2018. Since then, numerous arm injuries including a Torn UCL which resulted in Tommy John Surgery back in 2019 have limited him. He finally kicked things in gear as a reliever and is being converted right back to a starting pitcher.

Hopefully, for Hicks' sake, things go well for him out of the rotation. When he can command his pitches, he's a pleasure to watch. From an Angels' point of view, this just wouldn't have made much sense. Hicks would've been dynamite in the eighth or ninth inning, but risking him as a starting pitcher when the rest of the rotation is full of massive question marks just wouldn't have made much sense at all.

The Angels deserve a ton of criticism for missing out on virtually every free agent thus far, but when it comes to Hicks, it wasn't the right fit.

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