Following what has been a remarkably quiet offseason for the Los Angeles Angels, it felt like they were finally going to get on the board by signing Marcus Stroman. It just made too much sense.
Stroman knew Perry Minasian from their days with the Blue Jays organization. His ground ball style meshes really well with a Ron Washington-led team. His price would've been significantly cheaper than arms like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery while still being at the forefront of this rotation. He's complimented Angels fans before. All signs seemed to be pointing the Angels way, until they weren't.
The right-hander wound up signing a deal with the Yankees. The deal was for two years and $37 million, a price incredibly cheap in this market for a pitcher of Stroman's caliber. The assumption was that his market just wasn't anywhere close to what was expected. It turns out, the right-hander turned down more money to go to the Bronx Bombers.
Marcus Stroman passes on LA Angels for a Yankees team he believes can be competitive
NJ.com's Bob Klapisch revealed that Stroman had offers from two California teams, the Angels and Giants, but wound up signing with the Yankees. What really hurts is Klapisch said that it's believed that Stroman signed with the Yankees for less money. It's unclear as to whether both the Giants and Angels offered Stroman more money than the Yankees, but assuming that the Angels did in fact do that, then that's a pretty crushing loss.
Stroman chose to play for a team in the Yankees that he believed would be competitive. It's hard to blame him for that, especially with him being a New York native, but that shows what he thought of an Angels team that is nowhere near competing. In some situations the Angels might offer the most money but still miss out because of where they're at competitively.
Stroman was the best option the Angels could've signed for relatively cheap. Now, outside of Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell, there isn't a free agent starting pitcher out there for the Angels to sign that would really improve the rotation. With the Angels potentially unwilling to spend big, it's possible they don't sign a starter at all, now.
It's hard to fault the Angels for their pursuit of Stroman if they did indeed top the Yankees' offer, but it's still a bad look to see at least one free agent show little interest in their money and sign elsewhere for less. Hopefully the Angels can find a way to find a difference-maker to add to their rotation, but time and options are running out.