MLB Trade Rumors released their annual top 50 free agents piece. In this article, three members of their staff predict where each of the top 50 free agents will sign and the terms of the deals these players will receive.
The Los Angeles Angels are linked to six different players in this article. Each one of the six would fill some sort of role on the roster, especially if Shohei Ohtani departs in free agency.
The staff does not predict the Angels end up with Ohtani or any of the high-end free agents available, but they do link the Halos to several players that would certainly be upgrades over what they have right now. The Angels obviously won't land all six players, but any combination would hypothetically make them better.
1) MLB Trade Rumors links pitcher Shota Imanaga to the Angels on a five-year contract worth $85 million
The big name out of Japan other than Shohei Ohtani that everyone is fixated on is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. It's easy to see why. He put up monster numbers in Japan, impressed in the WBC, and is just 25 years old. He's going to earn a massive nine-figure contract and could even cross the $200 million mark. MLBTR projects he will do just that.
While Yamamoto would be nice, the chances of the Angels landing him are low. They are, however, linked to a different Japanese arm who would instantly slot in toward the top of the rotation.
In his 24 starts for the Yokohama Bay Stars, the 30-year-old posted a 2.66 ERA in 159 innings of work. He fanned 188 batters while walking just 24 displaying remarkable command. In terms of stuff, Imanaga is right up there with the best of them and really impressed at the WBC this season.
The Angels have a need in the rotation and Darragh McDonald of MLBTR predicts they'll wind up with Imanaga. He's not one of the top arms in this free agency class, but he'd be a big get with a ton of room to grow. Like Ohtani, he could wind up being a bargain given he's unproven in MLB.