The Los Angeles Angels wanted to add a veteran to a young and promising rotation prior to the 2023 season. The starting staff showed a ton of potential down the stretch in 2022, but they still needed to add another arm to really solidify things. Enter Tyler Anderson.
Anderson was coming off his best season. He was an all-star for the Dodgers and one of the best pitchers in the National League. With that in mind, the Angels signing him to a three-year deal worth just $39 million felt awesome at the time. The Angels weren't paying him to be a frontline starter, he was simply expected to eat innings and keep them in games. Of course, he failed to do so.
While the Angels ran with Anderson early, Nathan Eovaldi remained on the market through much of the offseason. The Halos were reportedly interested in him, but nothing ever came to fruition and he wound up signing a comparable deal to join the Texas Rangers. After what just happened especially last night, the Angels look quite foolish.
LA Angels made critical mistake passing on Nathan Eovaldi
Nathan Eovaldi's contract guaranteed him two years and $34 million. He was due to earn a bit more in AAV, but didn't have a third guaranteed year. The only way Eovaldi would get the third year is if he hit incentives. This was due to his lengthy injury history.
Eovaldi spent most of this regular season pitching like a Cy Young candidate. He had a 2.69 ERA in his first 19 starts of the year before landing on the IL. He was pitching like the ace they really needed with Jacob deGrom's season-ending injury. Eovaldi would struggle after coming off the IL in September, but as we all know, October is where he's always shined the brightest.
The right-hander has a history of pitching excellently in the postseason, and the 2023 season was no different. Eovaldi made six starts this postseason, posting a 2.95 ERA and putting up a 5-0 record. The team went 6-0 when he pitched. He capped off his outstanding postseason run with six shutout inning in the final game of the World Series win over the Diamondbacks.
While Eovaldi flourished in Texas, Anderson was one of the worst pitchers in baseball. While Eovaldi pitched six scoreless innings in the World Series decider, Anderson delivered six scoreless frames just once all season. That came against the 50-win Athletics in the third game of the year.
Nathan Eovaldi doesn't bridge the 17-game gap between the Angels and Rangers, but he certainly would've done more for the Halos than Anderson wound up doing. It's the latest of many unfortunate outcomes for Perry Minasian and the Los Angeles Angels.