Angels stretching out emerging reliever telegraphing intentions with Snell, Montgomery?

Have the Halos closed the door to a potential Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery signing?

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Wantz (60)
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Wantz (60) / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels' offseason has been rather tumultuous. However, the Angels have an opportunity to save face before the start of the 2024 season if they're able to head into Opening Day with either Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery toeing the rubber.

Both Snell and Montgomery have been linked to the Halos this offseason. After Cody Bellinger's deal earlier this week, it's been rumored that Snell may be looking at signing a short-term deal this spring with the potential to re-enter the free agent market again next winter. Montgomery's market is bit different, but there's still a chance that he could find his way to LA as well.

However, the latest news coming out of Tempe appears to throw cold water on the notion of either Snell or Montgomery joining the Angels' starting rotation this offseason. Andrew Wantz, who's been a reliever for the majority of his career, is being stretched out as a starter.

LA Angels stretching out emerging reliever telegraphing intentions with Snell, Montgomery?

Wantz made 24 appearances out of the Angels' bullpen last season and also started three games. All three starts, however, were as an opener, and the right-hander only went two innings in all three outings. Wantz hasn't been part of a regular rotation since he was in Double-A back in 2019.

But it would appear that new Angels manager Ron Washington is going to give Wantz a chance to step onto the mound every fifth day. Last season, as a reliver, Wantz recorded 33 punch outs over 39.1 innings of work with 15 walks and a 3.89 ERA. If those numbers can somehow translate into a starter's role, Wantz would have a chance to work at the back of the Angels' rotation.

Reid Detmers, Tyler Anderson, and Patrick Sandoval are locks to break camp as part of the starting rotation, with Chase Silseth and Griffin Canning likely having the inside track for the final two spots. With minor-league options remaining, Wantz could begin the 2024 season at Triple-A and act as a depth option down the road.

Moving Andrew Wantz from the bullpen into the rotation may not fully close the door to a Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery signing, but if you're reading the tea leaves, it would appear rather unlikely. However, the market has been incredibly slow, so it's still too soon to completely dismiss the idea of either lefty joining the Los Angeles Angels rotation.