Angels made the move they had to make with the Matt Moore signing
The Los Angeles Angels needed one more bullpen piece and they finally got it in Matt Moore. The terms of the deal are unknown at this time, but the Angels adding a legitimate arm to this bullpen was very necessary.
LA Angels make move they had to make by signing Matt Moore
The Angels have struggled to build a bullpen for many years. They thought they'd have a really solid bullpen last season after they brought Raisel Iglesias back and brought in Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera, but the unit was still below average. The Halos were 18th in bullpen ERA last season.
Matt Moore's career has been a wild one, to say the least. He began it as a starter in Tampa Bay and looked like a future ace as he finished ninth in the AL Cy Young balloting in 2013 but injuries and ineffectiveness shattered those dreams.
Moore found his way in Japan in 2020 hoping to re-invent himself. This did not work as he had a miserable 2021 in Philadelphia. The southpaw posted a 6.24 ERA in 24 appearances (13 starts) for the Philies.
Despite his career seemingly going nowhere, the Rangers signed the southpaw to a minor league deal. He ended up getting promoted back to the majors in mid April and made the most of what could have been his final opportunity.
Moore had a career year for Texas, going 5-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 63 appearances out of the bullpen. He pitched 74 innings and struck out 83 batters (10.1 K/9). Moore also did something Angels relievers struggled with and that's limiting home runs. He allowed just three round-trippers in 74 innings pitched (0.4 HR/9).
Will Moore be this good for the Angels? No, I'd be shocked. He had a 2.98 FIP for Texas which is a good mark but a full run higher than that microscopic ERA. He walked 38 batters in those 74 innings (4.6 BB/9) which is far too many. He's definitely not perfect.
Moore did a great job limiting hard contact, ranking in the 93rd percentile in hard hit rate, the 94th percentile in xBA, and the 94th percentile in xSLG according to baseball savant. Even with the high walk numbers, if you can limit hard contact like that you're going to have success unless you get very unlucky.
While Moore is left-handed, he excelled against right-handed hitters. Righties had a .165/.282/.255 slash line against him, so the Angels can use him in any situation they feel comfortable with.
Andrew Chafin was my number one target because of his sustained success but Moore did have the better 2022. This bullpen already added Carlos Estevez and needed another piece. Moore gives them an arm that has the ability to get key outs late in a game.
A trio of Jimmy Herget, Estevez, and Moore getting key outs comes with its questions but if they're all as good as they were in 2022 the Angels might really have something here.
The Angels addressed a weak spot of the roster with this move, and I couldn't be happier. I'm assuming it's a one year deal so even if it doesn't work out it's not a huge risk. Hats off to Perry and Arte for making a move they had to make.