The Los Angeles Angels remain as quiet as ever, doing virtually nothing since Shohei Ohtani's departure. Okay, Zach Plesac is technically something, but he's far from a differencemaker and there's a good chance he doesn't even make the team out of Spring Training.
One need the Angels have had the entire offseason even when Ohtani was available and have still yet to address is their starting rotation. The Halos had a subpar rotation in 2023 and without Ohtani, it only looks worse.
While Angels fans have been dreaming about the possibility of the team potentially adding a frontline arm like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, it's very possible they pivot to another arm, Shota Imanaga.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic has the Angels listed as one of the four finalists for Imanaga's services.
The Angels appear to have a real shot at landing Shota Imanaga
The two Japanese pitchers that were the talk of the offseason were Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Angels did not land either of those stars, but that doesn't mean Imanaga can't be a nice addition for this team that needs starting pitching.
The 30-year-old southpaw put up a 2.96 ERA in eight seasons in the NPB. While Angels fans should not expect him to be a sub-3.00 ERA guy in the majors, that doesn't mean he can't be a nice addition to their rotation. He's not the frontline arm they need, but there's every chance he can pitch like a third starter which has value.
For the Angels to get Imanaga they'd have to outbid some desperate teams in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Whether that's in their best interest when more proven arms can be signed for a bit more like Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell can be debated.
With Imanaga's posting window coming to an end next week, a decision has to be coming soon. The Angels shouldn't have Imanaga as their top priority, but with uncertainty regarding the other two stars, it might be Imanaga or bust for this offseason when it comes to impactful starting pitching.