Cody Bellinger signing with Cubs could pivot Angels to Scott Boras Plan B

Could the Angels swoop in and land a big time pitcher now that Boras is willing to wheel and deal?

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

While the Los Angeles Angels are already in the middle of spring training, there is still some offseason housekeeping left to do. The specter of Scott Boras continues to hang over the start of the 2024 season, as he has several clients that have yet to sign deals for 2024 and beyond. However, one of his clients did sign over the weekend, which could have real ramifications for the Angels before the season.

Cody Bellinger looked as though he was going to hold out for big money this offseason, but a reunion with the Cubs made too much sense and he ultimately signed a deal with Chicago that allows him to opt out after each of the first two years and try his hand at free agency again. The Angels were rumored to be at least somewhat interested in Bellinger at one point, but the real development here is that Boras appears to be willing to make deals now, which bodes well for the Angels pursuit of a big-time starting pitcher.

Could the Angels land Snell or Montgomery in the wake of Bellinger's deal?

While adding Bellinger would have been nice for the offense, what the Angels really need is pitching and, frankly, a lot of it. LA has famously been unable to develop much in the way of starting pitching prospects despite devoting entire draft classes to doing so at times. Complicating the problem is that Angels front offices, and more specifically owner Arte Moreno, have been reluctant to add pitching on free agent deals.

With Boras now looking as though he could be willing to drop his lofty asking prices a bit, now is the time for the Angels to make a strong push for Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell. Both are excellent arms that would immediately slot in at the top of the Angels' rotation and could lead to them surprising folks in 2024. According to MLB's Mark Feinsand, the conventional wisdom is that the Angels will eventually land one of the two pitchers.

The favored candidate probably needs to be Montgomery. Not only is Montgomery coming off a career year that saw him put the Rangers on his back and win a World Series title, but he is also a fairly low risk signing for a pitcher. Snell just won a Cy Young, but he has battled injuries in the past, walks a lot of guys, and also currently has the Yankees in on him (in theory, though insider Jack Curry quashed that a bit on Sunday). Montgomery may not have as high a ceiling as Snell, but is pretty much a lock to give you around 180 innings with at least a mid-3 ERA if not better, and doesn't seem to have a New York team hanging around increasing his price.

So far, the Angels appear to be interested in both arms, although their level of interest -- along with how much money Moreno gave the front office to play with -- is very much unknown. It would certainly make some amount of sense for the Angels to trim their payroll a bit, but finding starters of this quality feels like an opportunity that is too good to pass up ... at least as long as Scott Boras is willing to cooperate a little.

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