The Los Angeles Angels could use another starting pitcher. As of now, the Angels rotation on Opening Day would be Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, Jose Suarez, and either Touki Toussaint or Tucker Davidson.
The ace is obviously outstanding, and the middle of the rotation is solid too. The back end isn't great, so the Angels should sign another starter.
The Angels have plenty of options in free agency. They can sign an ace, they can sign a quality veteran, or they can take a risk on a younger starter.
I believe the Angels should spend good money on a pitcher, but not as much as an ace would cost.
The three big starting pitcher free agents are Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, and Justin Verlander.
Verlander I'm almost certain will remain in Houston. He's about to win another Cy Young and might add another World Series trophy as well. He'll want to stay in Houston where he can compete for another title.
deGrom and Rodon I'm not sure where they'll end up. Rodon has had two straight all-star seasons where he's put up ERA's below 3.00 and has put up ridiculous strikeout numbers as well.
This season he went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 starts in his first year with the Giants. He led the NL with a 2.25 FIP and a 12.0 K/9. Rodon finished fifth in the AL Cy Young balloting last season and he might finish even higher in his first season in the NL.
Rodon has a $22.5 million dollar player option for the 2023 season to remain in San Francisco but I'm sure he will decline it. The lefty has an extensive injury history, missing substantial time in each season from 2017-2020. He dealt with injuries in 2021 as well. He will want to cash in after his best and healthiest season yet, and he is going to get a ton of money.
Rodon is 29 years old and will be getting at least four years at around a $25-30 million dollar AAV. The Angels still should be trying to pay Shohei Ohtani and the best way to convince him to stay is by spreading the wealth around to try and build a better team around him and Mike Trout.
Jacob deGrom is in a similar boat, just more magnified. When healthy, there isn't a better pitcher in the game.
Since 2018, deGrom has gone 37-25 with a 2.05 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 102 starts. He's struck out 12.2 batters per nine in that five-year stretch while walking just 1.8/9. He's won two Cy Young Awards and if he was healthy in 2021 he would've won a third.
The problem with deGrom is his age and lack of durability. He's made just 26 starts combined in the last two seasons, missing substantial time due to various ailments.
deGrom is apparently looking to get a higher AAV than the $43.3 million dollars annually that his teammate Max Scherzer got from the Mets.
Again, when healthy, he deserves a blank check and every penny he puts on it. He's that lethal. He didn't look quite as dominant after his return this past season yet he had a 3.08 ERA while striking out 14.3/9 and walking just 1.1/9.
If the 34 year old were to sign with the Angels and be the Jacob deGrom of 2018-2020, it's a grand slam. The problem is, I just don't know how realistic it is to rely on him to take the ball every fifth day. I also have no idea if deGrom, a guy who wants to win, would be willing to sign with Los Angeles.
There are quality arms available like Chris Bassitt, Tyler Anderson, and Sonny Gray who might not be aces but are very solid and will cost substantially less money. Those are the kinds of players I believe the Angels should try and get so then adding other players in addition is an option as well.