The Los Angeles Angels finally made a move that Angels fans can be proud of, inking Robert Stephenson to a three-year deal. There're some concerns that come with a deal like that for a pitcher without a lengthy track record of success, but if he pitches anywhere close to as well as he did for the Rays down the stretch last season, the deal becomes a bargain for the Angels.
Stephenson will play a huge role in the Angels bullpen, likely setting up for closer Carlos Estevez. He could be next in line to take over for Estevez if the Angels closer takes his season-ending struggles into 2024.
When the Stephenson signing becomes official, the Angels are going to have to remove a player from their 40-man roster, as it currently has 40 players on it. These three make the most logical sense.
3) Austin Warren
It's unfortunate, because Austin Warren is currently recovering after undergoing Tommy John Surgery last May. He got it alongside Jose Quijada as the Angels had to test their bullpen depth early.
Normally, when players are out for a long time they're put on the 60-day IL. That removes them from the 40-man roster, allowing the team to put a healthy player on it. Well, the 60-day IL isn't a thing in the offseason, meaning players like Warren and Jose Quijada are currently on the Angels' 40-man.
While the Angels would love to keep him on the 40-man just to put him on the 60-man when first allowed, they need to get rid of somebody to make room on the 40-man for Stephenson. It feels like Warren has a legitimate shot at being that guy.
The right-hander looked like he might have a future in the Angels bullpen after pitching really well in 16 appearances back in 2021, but his struggles the following year led to him being removed from the 40-man. He bounced back in 2023, pitching well in Spring Training and the minors before earning a call-up, but he got hurt after just two appearances. It's really unlucky, but Warren hasn't shown enough to warrant staying on the 40-man right now.
Chances are, due to his injury, he'll clear waivers and remain in the Angels organization. That's certainly what the team will hope, as his depth can come in handy once he's healthy.