The Los Angeles Angels entered a very important offseason after finishing 73-89 and missing the postseason for an eighth consecutive season. The roster needed a major overhaul, and all of this had to happen with Arte Moreno looking to sell the team.
To the surprise of everyone, Moreno pulled the Angels off the market and decided to remain the owner despite getting even more money than he imagined offered to him for the club. Moreno staying in charge has Angels fans upset, and for good reason, but there was one positive out of his recent interview with Sports Illustrated.
Moreno revealed in this interview that he wanted to make another splash this offseason. This decision is pretty baffling considering how the other blockbuster signings they've made under his watch have gone. Fortunately, Perry Minasian convinced him to focus on building out the entire roster instead of signing a star player.
Perry Minasian made right decision prioritizing depth for the Angels over a star shortstop
Moreno's target was Trea Turner, a guy who I believe is the best shortstop in the game. Turner has blazing speed, can hit for power, gets on base at a high level, and makes a big impact on winning. There's a reason the Dodgers traded for him, and there's a reason the Phillies gave him $300 million.
Turner would've been awesome on this team. Can you imagine a Turner-Trout-Ohtani top of the order? How exactly would a pitcher get through that? The Angels have a hole at shortstop. It would've been a great fit. Unfortunately, signing Turner would've limited Minasian's ability to do anything else.
Arte Moreno has gone over the luxury tax once in his years of ownership, and that was in his first full year of control. Moreno has been pretty outspoken about wanting harsher penalties for those going over the tax, and has proven it's something he's just not willing to do. He's toed the line for years, but never crosses it. You'd think if he wanted to keep Ohtani after this season he'd be willing to do whatever it takes, but I digress.
Knowing he'd be limited, Minasian was able to do something other General Managers couldn't do, and convince Moreno to go in another direction. The Angels prioritized building around Trout and Ohtani and as a result, have their best and deepest roster in a long time.
Minasian traded for Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela. He signed Tyler Anderson, Carlos Estevez, Matt Moore, Brandon Drury, and Brett Phillips. The Angels brought in seven players on MLB contracts to help this team.
Shortstop is still a position of need as they lack a primary option there, but the team as a whole looks so much better. Tyler Anderson is a big upgrade over the likes of Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen. Hunter Renfroe is a massive upgrade over Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak. Matt Moore and Carlos Estevez are added to a bullpen that really needed help. Brandon Drury and Gio Urshela provide much-needed depth.
Had they signed Turner shortstop would've been taken care of, but the other holes would've been left open. The Angels tried something new this offseason, and I like this direction much more.