LA Angels watch top trade target Chris Bassitt land elsewhere for nothing

Aug 6, 2021; Oakland, California, USA;  Chris Bassitt
Aug 6, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Chris Bassitt / Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

LA Angels' top trade target, Chris Bassitt, was just traded. He was not, however, traded to the Angels. Unfortunately, he was traded to the Mets instead. The Halos have missed out on all of the good starting pitching options in free agency other than Noah Syndergaard, and are now not making trades to improve the poor rotation.

MLB Insider for CBS Sports and The Athletic, Jim Bowden, reported well before the lockout that the Angels had "had conversations with Oakland about Chris Bassitt." Unfortunately, however, the Angels are still staring at two major question marks in the back-end of the rotation. The worst part about it was the return the A's got for Bassitt.

The Athletics received J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller from the Mets. That's it. They have potential, but for a pitcher who was second in AL ERA last season (3.15), that's not a significant haul at all. Neither has pitched in the Big Leagues yet, and Bassitt has been proven at that level as one of the top arms in the American League.

(Now former) LA Angels trade target Chris Bassitt has been lights out for three straight years now.

Chris Bassitt has posted a 3.26 ERA and a 128 ERA+ in these last three years for the LA Angels' rival. He has been overall healthy in each of those three seasons, and posted a nice 1.128 WHIP. He's the type of pitcher that typically goes for a lot more than two bright Minor Leaguers.

It's not clear what the Angels' excuse to not reeling him in is. And look, no team is going to get EVERYONE they want, but why is it that the Halos have whiffed on every starting pitching target after they signed Syndergaard? The best they've been able to acquire via free agency or via trade has been Michael Lorenzen, who shouldn't even be a starting pitcher.

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The starting rotation has kept the Angels out of the postseason for seven straight seasons now, but Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian for some reason haven't been making moves to improve the back-end of this rotation that looked awful at the end of the season and still does.