It's hard to celebrate the Los Angeles Angels' offseason. After all, they lost the best player on the planet to their inter-city rival. But it hasn't been all bad this winter, as the Halos have done a decent job of restocking the roster.
Recently, the Angels inked reliever Robert Stephenson to a multi-year deal. LA has also re-signed Matt Moore and added outfielder Aaron Hicks on free agent contracts. But it still feels as if the Angels need to make a big move this winter. Perhaps Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is onto something.
While trying to find the best fits for the top free agents still remaining on the market, Feinsand came to the logical conclusion that both Blake Snell and J.D. Martinez could find their way to Angel Stadium in 2024.
Angels Rumors: If the price is right, signing Blake Snell seems like a no-brainer
Snell has been linked to the Angels all offseason. After rejecting the New York Yankees' offer, no other team has come to the front of the line. The Yankees were reportedly willing to go above the number they set last winter after agreeing to terms on a six-year, $162 million deal with Carlos Rodón, but that still wasn't enough to close the deal with Snell. The Yankees have since signed Marcus Stroman.
So Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner whose contract demands are rather steep, continues to sit on the open market while many other pitchers with far fewer accolades are signing elsewhere.
There are reasons why teams continue to pass on Snell. While he now has two Cy Youngs on his résumé, the left-hander led the league in walks last season. His two awards, while impressive, also came relatively far apart. During four seasons in between Snell's first and second Cy Young Award, he posted a 3.85 ERA and 105 ERA+.
If Snell's salary expectations come down, perhaps the Angels will play ball. It's almost become a game of chicken between the top four free agents, who are represented by Scott Boras, and the rest of the league. With pitchers and catchers reporting next week, we'll have to wait and see who blinks first. If it's Boras, then perhaps the Angels and Snell can work out a deal.
Angels Rumors: Is J.D. Martinez still on LA's radar?
Way back in early December, MLB Insider Jon Heyman listed the Los Angeles Angels as a potential landing destination for designated hitter J.D. Martinez. Here we are two months later, and nothing has changed. Martinez is still a free agent, and the Halos seem to be the most logical destination.
Recently, however, it was recently revealed that Los Angeles also had interest in former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Both Martinez and Votto would seem to occupy the same role with the Angels in 2024. While Martinez is a right-handed hitter and Votto hits from the left side, both would likely act as the Angels' DH.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale is reporting that opposing GMs see the Cleveland Guardians as the perfect fit for Martinez. The Angels roster, as currently constructed, would likely see Brandon Drury opening the 2024 season as the team's DH. There's definitely room for improvement, but the Angels may no longer be Martinez's top suitor.