The Los Angeles Angels could really benefit from upgrading their shortstop position. Last season they were 29th in WRC+ (68) and 27th in fWAR (1.1). It's important to note that David Fletcher, the presumptive shortstop for this past season, played in only 61 games, 36 of which came at short.
The Angels have Fletcher and Luis Rengifo as players who will share the shortstop reps heading into the 2023 season. Fletcher is a good defender but hasn't hit enough to warrant playing every day. Rengifo had a good offensive season but isn't a great defender, particularly at shortstop.
Shortstop is an obvious position to upgrade. Jon Heyman of the NY Post says the Angels are still looking for a shortstop.
The Angels are still looking for an upgrade at the shortstop position.
A shortstop upgrade absolutely should happen, but I'm not sure where the Angels find that upgrade. There were four big free agent shortstops available. Three of the four signed elsewhere, and the fourth is dealing with a situation I've never seen before. Should he somehow become available again I'd love for the Angels to sign him on a short-term deal but let's be realistic. That's not going to happen.
Could the Angels swing a trade for someone like Willy Adames or Ha-Seong Kim? Maybe, but I doubt it.
One player Heyman cites that could be a fit for the Angels is Elvis Andrus. Despite his awesome stint with the White Sox, I don't think the Angels should go after him.
It's unclear whether the Angels have actually reached out to Andrus or if Heyman is just guessing a spot where he could fit since they do need a shortstop upgrade, but I don't think this should happen.
I'm not a Fletcher believer at all, and don't think highly of Rengifo at shortstop. I do, however, think the Angels are better off sticking with what they have over pursuing the 34-year-old Andrus.
Andrus had a 103 OPS+ this past season and that's including one of the best offensive stretches of his career when he hit nine home runs in just 43 games with the White Sox and stole 11 bases.
Despite being a good defender, Andrus has been a below-average hitter for the vast majority of his career (87 OPS+ in his career). The Angels already have a good defender who's subpar at the plate, why add another? One hot stretch in a 14-year career doesn't tell me he's going to all of a sudden be a power-hitting shortstop.
Is Andrus an upgrade over Fletcher? Maybe. It's still not worth signing him when Fletcher is there. If you're going to upgrade, get a legitimate upgrade. Get a Kim, or an Adames, or someone who will make more of a difference. I'm all for even a marginal upgrade, but think this would just be a lateral move.
I'm honestly not sure where the Angels can turn, outside of a Carlos Correa shocker, to upgrade at short right now. There're some trades that could be made, but in terms of free agency, it's pretty dry. Elvis Andrus is not the answer.