The LA Angels may have been missing out on some top-of-the-line names like Max Scherzer and Kevin Gausman, but they still had big plans in mind.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Halos were a "top suitor" for 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray.
It was good to see that Ray would not be making his decision until he met with our team, as Morosi pointed out. It essentially meant that his decision ran through the Angels.
Robbie Ray was clearly taking the LA Angels very seriously.
If Robbie Ray was waiting to meet with the LA Angels to make his decision, the Halos clearly had just as much of a chance as anybody.
As it turns out, however, the Angels weren't enough for the star. Even worse, he reportedly signed with our AL West rival Seattle Mariners.
That's money that the Angels certainly could have afforded to give up.
Ray was one of the top starting pitchers on the market, regardless of which point in the offseason we're talking about. Even when the Scherzer's and Verlander's of the world were out there, Ray was still one of the biggest names on the market.
Winning the AL Cy Young this year certainly helped. The AL pitcher who had the best season this year went 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA. Throwing a league-leading 193.1 innings and a league-leading 32 starts, he also posted the best WHIP (1.045) and ERA+ (154) in the American League as well.
Nobody strikes guys out like Ray. Leading the Majors with 248 strikeouts, he's struck out 11.2 batters per nine innings in his career. It doesn't get better than that.
Even in 2020, where he struggled mightily (6.62 ERA and 1.897 WHIP), he still struck out an unfair 11.8 batters per nine. Having experience pitching in the AL for over two seasons now, he can pitch in our league.
There wouldn't be many better signings that the Angels could have made more than Ray this offseason. Before the offseason, he was seen as one of the prime free agent targets for the Halos. The Angels had their chance, and they really whiffed here.