For the Los Angeles Angels to be competitive as they had said they wanted to do in 2024, they would need to upgrade their starting rotation. Their starting pitching was subpar in the 2023 season, and with Shohei Ohtani set to miss the season on the bump whether he stayed or left, the Angels desperately had to add.
Well, the calendar has flipped to the New Year, and the Angels have done absolutely nothing when it comes to their rotation. What makes matters worse is pitchers are signing places, but the Angels remain silent.
One pitcher who seemed like a very realistic option was Marcus Stroman who was not set to make a ton of money compared to others, but could still be a pretty sizeable upgrade for the staff. Stroman would pretty easily be the best pitcher on this Angels team.
While the Angels were linked to him several times over the course of the offseason, the right-hander has officially inked a deal with the Yankees, leaving the Angels empty-handed once again. What the Angels plan to do now is anyone's best guess, but perhaps a pivot to an ace is on the table.
LA Angels missing out on Marcus Stroman leaves fans wondering what the plan is
With Stroman off the board, options are few and far in between for pitchers they can sign who would be real difference makers for them. Sure, they could go bargain bin hunting by signing a pitcher like Michael Lorenzen or Mike Clevinger, but those arms wouldn't be the upgrades they really need.
The only real upgrades available are Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell. If the Angels want to be somewhat competitive in 2024, they're going to need one of those arms. It's really that simple.
A Montgomery signing feels unlikely with signs pointing toward him re-signing with the Rangers, but where Snell goes is anyone's best guess. Snell has been linked to the Angels this offseason, and reportedly received an offer from the Yankees before they agreed to terms with Stroman. The Yankees having a full rotation with the Stroman addition feel like an unlikely Snell landing spot at this point, opening the door for the Angels.
It feels like the Halos won't have much competition when it comes to pursuing Snell. There have been whispers with teams like the Giants and Mariners, but the Giants haven't signed many free agents of note in recent years, and the Mariners have shown an unwillingness to spend money. Of course, that same question remains for an Angels team that appears to have no direction.
Stroman was their last chance at a cheaper upgrade in the rotation. Barring a surprising trade, the only way for the Angels to find a legitimate upgrade would be with Snell or Montgomery. Is it likely? Of course not. But it's fun to dream!