Angels still reportedly linked to major free agents, but what’s holding them back?

Will the Angels make a big splash before the 2024 season begins?

Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger
Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels have had a very underwhelming offseason. When Robert Stephenson, a failed prospect whose one strong season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization netted him a three-year deal, is your biggest offseason acquisition, you've got some explaining to do.

But it seems as if the Halos aren't done. Jon Heyman of the New York Post is reporting that Los Angeles has shown interest in Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery. These names have been linked to the Angels early and often this offseason.

So what's the holdup? The Angels' roster is far from competitive, especially in the AL West. After watching the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners make some key additions this winter, the Angels will be guaranteeing themselves a ninth consecutive losing season if they run out their their current roster in 2024,

LA Angels still reportedly linked to major free agents like Cody Bellinger & Blake Snell

Each of these remaining free agents on the Angels' radar has flaws. Bellinger was woeful with the Los Angeles Dodgers for three years until his renaissance season in 2023. Snell's had success and owns Cy Young Awards, but the lefty has been inconsistent and led the league in walks last season. Montgomery's numbers were good with the Texas Rangers last season, but his stats were mostly pedestrian until then.

There's also the draft capital attached to signing either Bellinger or Snell. Whichever team inks the one of those players will have to forfeit a draft pick. Thankfully for the Angels, they remained under the Competitive Balance Tax. However, they'd still lose their second-highest draft pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.

There's also the matter of the ridiculous contract demands all three players have been requesting. Rumors have suggested that Snell is seeking over $200 million in salary. Reports have Bellinger seeking a similar number. None of these players have shown enough consistency over the years to warrant such a gargantuan number.

Angels owner Arte Moreno is thought to be lowering payroll for the 2024 season as well. After recently announcing his intentions to keep the Angels under his purview, it would seem that Moreno may be looking to stick to a budget during the upcoming season. The Halos already have the hefty salaries of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon on the books for the next several years.

The perplexing nature of this offseason will leave most Angels fans banging their heads against a wall. The team's inaction all winter surely isn't any comfort to the fanbase who's watched the Angels squander opportunities with better talent than what's present on the current roster.

The longer these players linger on the market, the more likely it is their asking price comes down. If that occurs, then the lukewarm interest the Los Angeles Angels have had all offseason could spike.