Angels should go after this forgotten free agent that could help clubhouse

Would TA be a good fit in LA?

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is hopeful that his team makes a few more additions prior to the start of the 2024 season. Trout said earlier this week that he's been trying to recruit other players and has nudged owner Arte Moreno to bring in some of the high-dollar free agents still available on the open market.

Blake Snell, Jordan Montogomery, and Cody Bellinger are still available, but the price tags for all three are thought to be rather high. That trio, as well as third baseman Matt Chapman, are all Scott Boras clients, so it's no surprise that negotiations are bleeding into the start of spring training.

But while those players linger about on the open market, there's another player who'll be looking to bounce back following a horrific campaign in 2023. Should the Angels extend a contract offer to former Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson?

LA Angels should go after forgotten free agent Tim Anderson

While Angels fans are hopeful that Zach Neto is the answer at shortstop ... what if he's not? The Halos rushed Neto to the big leagues after just 48 games in the minors and are ready to crown him the shortstop of the future. Neto's glove, as evidenced by his 3 defensive runs saved in 2023, is major league-ready. But his .685 OPS leaves a lot to be desired.

Anderson, shockingly, is still a free agent this offseason. The two-time All-Star and one-time AL batting champion had his worst season in the big leagues a year ago. Anderson hit just .245/.286/.296 and was able to muster just one home run. That occurred, though, after four consecutive seasons of hitting at least .300 or higher and averaging 13 home runs per season from 2019-2022.

If Neto regressed or landed on the injured list, the Angels would be forced to turn to Luis Rengifo at shortstop. The 26-year-old has shown that he doesn't possess the defensive chops to field the position, and it would be disaster if Rengifo saw any time at shortstop.

Tim Anderson is still just 30 years old, and one year removed from an All-Star season with the South Siders. There aren't many other shortstops who will provide what Anderson can, especially at the price tag he's likely to command. After posting a 60 OPS+ in 2023, Anderson will surely be looking for pillow contract in order to re-establish his market value and re-enter free agency next winter.

It's the perfect plan for a team like the Angels who believe their future shortstop is already in the building. Anderson can provide a veteran presence and mentorship for a young Angels roster, and if he returns to his pre-2023 form, the Halos could have a potential All-Star on their roster. This would be a win-win.

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