The Los Angeles Angels have yet to make a big move to really get their offseason going. The additions of players like Luis Garcia, Adam Cimber, Adam Kolarek, and Zach Plesac helps their depth, but won't get them much closer if at all to an unlikely playoff berth, which we know is what the Angels are hoping for.
For the Angels to actually improve, one area of their team that they're going to have to improve is the starting rotation which was subpar last season and just lost Shohei Ohtani. Losing their ace and doing absolutely nothing to replace him would be a disastrous outcome.
While we've heard the Angels be in on stars Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, it's fair to question whether the Angels will spend the money necessary to land either guy. Even if Snell and Montgomery deals aren't happening, they can always look to the next tier of free agents and find arms like Marcus Stroman and Shota Imanaga. According to the latest Angels rumors they have done so, and we could be getting clarity on who they're actually in on.
Latest Angels rumors suggest that the team appears to be out on Shota Imanaga, in on Marcus Stroman
The most expensive starting pitcher left after Snell and Montgomery is probably Shota Imanaga, who is expected to get more than the five-year $75 million deal Kodai Senga signed with the Mets last offseason. The Angels were named a finalist for his services, but with the southpaw having to decide by Thursday, it appears that the Giants might be emerging as a favorite to land Imanaga according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
While Feinsand notes that the Giants appear to be the favorites, he does say specifically that the Angels shouldn't be counted completely out. They do have a bigger need for a starting pitcher. While that's true, Robert Murray of FanSided said on The Baseball Insider's podcast "Any interest you’ve seen with the Angels regarding Imanaga, I feel like it has been way overblown. I’ll never rule anything out, but I would be pretty surprised if Imanaga ended up going to the Angels.” Not impossible, but certainly doesn't sound likely.
While Murray's Imanaga report certainly sounds discouraging for the Angels, he does believe it's "at least possible" that the Angels end up signing Marcus Stroman. The way Stroman ended his season was discouraging, but when healthy, he can be an undervalued ace. He was an all-star this past season for a reason before struggling down the stretch.
Stroman would add a much-needed veteran presence to this young rotation, and should work well with a defense that should be much-improved behind him. With how little interest he seems to be receiving on the open market, the Angels could potentially get him at a bargain price too.
At this point, it's hard to be super picky with the Angels being as inactive as they have been. Both Stroman and Imanaga would make this rotation a lot better, and would likely slot in at the front barring an unlikely Snell or Montgomery addition. The Angels getting one of them would make the offseason feel a whole lot better.