Heading into the offseason, the Los Angeles Angels had to figure out the direction they wanted to go in. With Shohei Ohtani in the final year of team control, the Angels needed to decide whether they'd make a push for the postseason and an Ohtani extension or whether they'd try to capitalize on Ohtani's value and re-tool.
The Angels chose the first one and have said Ohtani isn't going anywhere before Opening Day. The Angels have made two moves so far and both have made them better.
Grading the Tyler Anderson signing.
Anderson is coming off of his best season in the majors by far, going 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA. He made 30 appearances (28 starts) and threw 178.1 innings.
Right off the bat, I should tell you Anderson will likely not ever have a season as good as he did this season. He was an all-star and had a lot go right for him. However, that doesn't mean this was a bad deal. In fact, he doesn't have to do much for the Angels to get a steal with this signing.
What the Angels need from Anderson which was reiterated by Perry Minasian is for him to give them length and a chance to win every fifth or sixth day. Even when Anderson wasn't at his best in 2021 he still threw 167 innings. That total would be the most an Angels starter has had since 2018. The Angels have lacked an innings eater like this for years.
Anderson is making $13 million dollars annually. For reference, pitchers like Steven Matz and Jon Gray signed four-year deals last season for comparable money annually. Yusei Kikuchi signed a three-year $36 million dollar deal to be Toronto's fifth starter. I'd take Anderson, especially coming off the year he just had, over all three of them.
The Angels unfortunately did have to give up their second-round pick and $500,000 in international money which is annoying when you don't fully know what you're getting from Anderson. I'd expect something in the middle of his 2021 and 2022 seasons which would be 170 innings pitched and something like a 3.50 ERA. It's well worth the contract.
There are other pitchers I wish the Angels would've considered like Chris Bassitt, but I can't complain too much.