The Los Angeles Angels had one of their most embarrassing seasons in franchise history in 2023, finishing with a 73-89 record after getting an MVP season from Shohei Ohtani and making several win-now trades.
With Ohtani now a Dodger, things are looking incredibly bleak for the Angels. To make matters worse, they say they want to compete, but have done absolutely nothing to back that up. They've signed three relievers to cheap one-year deals, and signed Zach Plesac to what we assume will be another cheap one-year deal once his deal becomes official.
The hope is that the Angels are active now that free agency has started to get moving a bit, but until that happens, their roster stacks up as one of the worst in baseball. That was confirmed by the latest MLB.com Power Rankings.
LA Angels ranked 24th in MLB.com Power Rankings, yet have shown no urgency to get better or worse
The Angels have two acceptable paths to take now that they know Ohtani is gone. They can either try and win in 2024 by being active in free agency and in the trade market, improving several of the team's weaknesses. The other option is the Angels can enter some sort of rebuild or retool. This would involve them trading players on expiring deals like Brandon Drury and Carlos Estevez, and listening to players with more control like Patrick Sandoval, Taylor Ward, and even Mike Trout.
The one thing the Angels cannot afford to do is what they've done so far, stand pat. Their bullpen is probably a bit better with the additions they've made, but not better enough to make it mean much of anything. The rest of the team is exactly the same. Thus, the Ohtani-less Angels rank 24th in MLB.com's Power Rankings, a spot they should want no part of.
They're ahead of just the Royals, Pirates, White Sox, Nationals, Rockies, and Athletics, making them one of the worst teams in the league. There's still time for Perry Minasian to get going, but sooner or later options will start to fly off the board. It's time for the Angels to show that they're serious about competing, or start rebuilding.