Angels rumors: 5 AL Central relief pitcher trade targets to already start thinking about

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
3 of 5

3) LA Angels should already start thinking about trading for Scott Barlow

Scott Barlow is a name who has been on the trade market for what feels like a little while now, but has yet to be traded. With free agency approaching for this talented right-hander, now might be the time for Kansas City to pull the trigger.

Barlow is under team control through the 2024 season before hitting free agency. With Kansas City unlikely to compete next season, this is their last chance to get much of value for him. The Angels should be one of the teams involved in the bidding.

Barlow got off to a horrific start this season, posting a 9.45 ERA through his first seven appearances. He allowed three earned runs twice in those appearances which inflated his ERA substantially. Since allowing three runs on April 19 vs. the Rangers, Barlow has made seven appearances and allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work. He's pitched like the dominant reliever he's been for a couple years now for almost a month. This run includes a save against the Angels when he retired the side in order with a couple of strikeouts.

Barlow's walks are up this season which is a big reason he has an ERA of 4.40 on the season, but he's improved on that dramatically over his last seven appearances. When right, Barlow is really good.

In the last three seasons, Barlow has had a 2.48 ERA out of the Kansas City bullpen. He's saved 44 games and has struck out 10.4 batters per nine. Again, the Angels lack that high strikeout guy. Barlow fills that nicely.

Barlow has excelled in plenty of roles, not just the closer. The Royals have used him in the eighth inning before when the situation dictates. He can join Estevez and Moore as a high-leverage guy in this bullpen.

Barlow would be more expensive than Hendriks and Chapman since he has another guaranteed year of control, but he's worth it.