The Los Angeles Angels need pitching. It's been the story for most of the last decade and remains the case this offseason. Pitchers like Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval, and Griffin Canning are fine mid-rotation arms, but the lack of frontline starters on this team is glaring.
The Angels hope to re-sign Shohei Ohtani, but even if they do, he can't pitch in 2024. With Ohtani, the Angels had a subpar rotation. Without him and no other frontline starter, it's hard to envision where the Angels stack up rotation-wise against the rest of the league.
One pitcher that felt like a potential target for the Angels was Sonny Gray, who just signed a deal to join the Cardinals. The teams of the deal turned out to be quite favorable.
LA Angels have no excuse passing on Sonny Gray, especially after the Tyler Anderson contract
Last offseason, the Angels made the decision to fortify their rotation by signing Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal worth $39 million. The deal made a good amount of sense at the time, as Anderson was coming off a career year with the Dodgers and had gotten relatively cheap money for a pitcher the Angels assumed would at least give them quality innings.
The Angels gave Anderson, a pitcher who is just a month-and-a-half younger than Gray, a three-year deal despite only having one good year on his resume. Anderson's good year, was still not quite as good as Gray's 2023. Gray was the AL Cy Young runner-up while Anderson didn't receive any Cy Young consideration.
Gray is a three-time all-star and has finished in the top seven of the Cy Young balloting three times in his 11 year career. He has a 3.47 ERA in his 11-year career, a mark Anderson has topped just once in a single season in his eight years.
Gray has a lengthy list of frontline starter seasons, yet he received the same three-year commitment Anderson got. Gray did get $75 million which is far more than the money Anderson got, but considering Gray's track record, he's more than worth it.
There's always the chance Gray would still turn the Angels down even if they offered him around or more money than St. Louis, but it sure would've been nice to see them in the conversation as they continue to need starting pitching help.