Latest big-name free agent deal shows Angels really aren’t a desirable destination

With another free agent target off the board, where do the Angels even go from here?
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

It is fair to say that the Los Angeles Angeles have not had a banner offseason. In addition to letting Shohei Ohtani walk and sign with the Dodgers, they also didn't do much when it comes to adding to their roster. Aaron Hicks is off to a nice start this spring, and Robert Stephenson could be a solid bullpen pickup if he can get healthy, but that is pretty much it, beyond some minor moves here and there.

It does appear, at least, that the Angels were half-heartedly trying to make more impactful moves, as they have been connected to a number of players this offseason, including free agent JD Martinez. The roster fit made sense, as the Angels don't have a surefire DH at the moment, and Martinez has a lengthy track record of production. He also wouldn't require a long-term commitment.

Now that Martinez has signed with the Mets on a one-year deal reportedly worth $12 million, we are reminded once again that the Angels are no longer a free agent destination.

LA Angels News: JD Martinez spurns LAA to sign with Mets

In a vacuum, Martinez signing with another team isn't that big of a deal. Players often have multiple good options to choose from, and they are going to choose what is best for them. The Angels most certainly had an offer out to Martinez and if Martinez took the better deal and the Angels wouldn't be moved off their offer for the 36-year-old bat, so be it.

However, we aren't operating in a vacuum here. Martinez signing elsewhere is the latest in a long line of failures the Angels have had when it comes to attracting talent. Even of the guys that they have been able to sign over the last few years, the Angels had to overpay just to get them to come aboard. Many of those deals were quite regrettable (looking at you, Anthony Rendon).

The Angels are just not a team that the big names (or even formerly big names) want to play for anymore. The best hitters are looking at the direction of the franchise and signing elsewhere. Conversations with the better pitchers aren't even getting far past the initial greetings because Arte Moreno doesn't like paying for pitching. Add in all of Martinez's tax-ditching deferrals, and it seems fairly clear the Angels could've provided a more immediate payout. The whole situation is a mess, and it is one of the Angels' own making, unfortunately.

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