Angels rumors: Club looking to add impact pieces

Sep 14, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) reacts after
Sep 14, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) reacts after / Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels should not be done this offseason. They've done well, adding Tyler Anderson, Gio Urshela, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Estevez, and Brandon Drury to the roster, but there's still more to accomplish.

The Angels could use another starter. They could use an upgrade at shortstop. They could also use another back-end of the bullpen reliever.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote (subscription required) about the Angels pursuit of Nathan Eovaldi and also what the team is looking to add this offseason.

The Angels are looking to add impact pieces, not focused on positions of need.

The Angels were pursuing Nathan Eovaldi to join Shohei Ohtani and Anderson at the top of the club's rotation. If the Halos were to add Eovaldi, they would've solidified their rotation as one of the best in the game, as long as Eovaldi actually remained on the field. Eovaldi of course ended up in Texas, and Rosenthal gave some reasons as to why.

"The Angels were in the mix for free-agent right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, but faced two disadvantages. One was Eovaldi’s desire to return to his native Texas; he is from Alvin, about a five-hour drive from the Rangers’ home in Arlington. The other was the difference in state income taxes. California’s top rate is 13.3 percent. Texas has no state income tax."

Ken Rosenthal - The Athletic

The Angels had to overcome two obstacles to sign Eovaldi. First, he wanted to be a Ranger. For the Angels to sign him, they'd have to convince him to abandon his home state and go play a long flight away in California.

Texas also has the benefit of no state income tax. For the Angels to top the Rangers offer which guaranteed two-years $34 million and went up to three-years $63 million if he hit all of his incentives, they'd have to offer him more money. For a pitcher who's had as much trouble remaining healthy as Eovaldi has in his career, it was probably wise for the Angels to not go crazy there.

What Rosenthal had to say at the end of the Angels portion of his article was even more interesting.

"Angels officials viewed Eovaldi as a pitcher who, when combined with Shohei Ohtani and Anderson, would have made the top of their rotation even more formidable. The team is not necessarily looking to add another starter, but its pursuit of Eovaldi reflects a continuing desire to add impact pieces if possible."

Ken Rosenthal - The Athletic

They aren't necessarily looking for a starter, they're looking for impact pieces. This could mean the Angels are not in on guys like Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, or Michael Wacha. While those are all starting pitchers, and I think Angels fans all want another starter, they're not major impact players.

In free agency, there really aren't many impact players left as it's already January. Carlos Correa, of course, is still available but his situation is complicated. There're some good relievers left like Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, and Matt Moore, could one of those arms be considered impact pieces?

Other than that, there really isn't much impact left on the open market. There're players who can help fill out the roster, but nobody greater than that with the exception of Correa and maybe relievers.

Does this mean the Angels are done unless they can find a trade for impact pieces? I certainly hope not. It's something to think about though if we see the starting pitchers left walk for relatively cheap money.

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