If there's one thing this Los Angeles Angels team desperately needs this offseason, it's starting pitching. The rotation was an issue last season and that was with Shohei Ohtani pitching at an all-star level. Ohtani is now a Dodger, and the Angels have done nothing of substance to improve what looks like one of the worst rotations in the American League.
The Angels signed Zach Plesac who will presumably battle for the fifth starter spot with pitchers like Chase Silseth and Jose Suarez, but the top of the rotation is subpar at best. While pitchers like Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning, and Reid Detmers have potential, they've proven next to nothing at the big league level. They're more suited to be in the middle of a rotation than the top.
The top of the rotation is arguably the biggest roster hole the Angels have right now. Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report set out to plug every team's biggest hole with one realistic signing. While he correctly identified the Angels' hole, his option to plug it doesn't feel very realistic.
The Angels signing Jordan Montgomery would be nice, but feels very unrealistic
With free agency in full swing, most of the high-end free agents are off the board. On the starting pitcher side, two elite starters remain. Those two pitchers are Blake Snell, and none other than Jordan Montgomery, who Reuter matches with the Angels.
"The list of teams with money to spend and a need in the starting rotation has steadily dwindled as the offseason has progressed, leaving a limited number of potential landing spots for Jordan Montgomery given his expected asking price of over $100 million.- Joel Reuter - Bleacher Report
Outside of adding Zach Plesac, Luis García and Adam Cimber on low-cost deals, the Angels have done little of note this offseason to counter the loss of Shohei Ohtani in free agency.
Adding Montgomery to a starting rotation that also includes Reid Detmers, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval and Tyler Anderson would make the staff a sneaky strength."
Montgomery makes a ton of sense for an Angels team that does theoretically have money to spend, has a glaring need for a pitcher of his caliber, and the imagined desperation and willingness to spend money. Unfortunately, while the Angels have roughly $70 million to spend before approaching the luxury tax threshold, there's almost no reason to believe they have an apetite to spend a ton of money this offseason.
The Angels have done virtually nothing of note, as Reuter mentions. While that can change, it feels like if the Angels were willing to spend big money they would have already.
Even with uncertainty regarding their TV deal, Montgomery feels like close to a lock to return to Texas. He just won a World Series there, and the team could obviously use him. There's always the chance Montgomery signs elsewhere, but there's been little noise linking him to the Angels. If he wants to win, joining a team that hasn't put together a winning season since 2015 and just lost Shohei Ohtani probably doesn't make much sense.
Montgomery has established himself as a true frontline starter. He doesn't blow hitters away with power stuff, but he finds a way to get outs and limit runs. That's really all you can ask for. He's the best fit out there for the biggest hole that the Angels have, but again, the question is do you really believe Arte Moreno will spend the money necessary to sign him? Nothing about how the Angels have acted this offseason would suggest that the answer is yes.