The LA Angels did not re-sign Steve Cishek, and let him go to the Washington Nationals on a one-year/$1.75 million deal ($1.75 million guaranteed, potentially $500K more in performance bonuses). Cishek wasn't perfect for the Angels last season (1.493 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9), but he was certainly an overall solid pitcher (3.42 ERA, 131 ERA+) who carries value as a veteran in a developing bullpen like the Angels'.
Having an above-average guy like Cishek who has been in the league since 2010 would be good for all of our very young bullpen pieces to be around. Much of the season lies on their shoulders, as their development is going to be crucial for the 2021 season and beyond.
Cishek has been a consistent pitcher throughout his career; having an ERA above 3.58 just once in his entire time in the Big Leagues--and it was during an unprecedented shortened pandemic season. Having him for just $1.75 million would have been worth it.
The LA Angels have now opted to not re-sign two of their best pitchers from 2021.
Both Alex Cobb and Steve Cishek were some of the best pitchers the LA Angels had last year, and they have chosen not to re-sign either one. Both went elsewhere for cheap, and the Halos could have brought them back for bargains, setting themselves up to only be one or two moves away from Championship contention.
Now, they have an incomplete rotation. Despite losing a solid bullpen option, however, it is worth bringing up that Cishek was indeed not so impressive when inheriting runners. He struggled in some important spots last year. He should have been re-signed due to his cheap price tag (low-risk) and overall viability, but there will be other bargain bin options for the Angels to go after.
Hopefully Perry Minasian pulls the trigger on bullpen pieces by the time spring training starts. He has been very passive on starters so far, and it appears that the Halos may not be as serious about capitalizing in a year where they'll have the two best players in the world fresh and in their primes as they said they were.