What is the LA Angels' path forward beyond 2024?

The frustration grows louder and louder inside the Angels fandom on where the Angels should focus their resources.

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Aaron Doster/GettyImages

I know what you’re thinking. This title could mean so much regarding the Los Angeles Angels these past, oh, 15 years or so. According to Baseball America rankings in 2004, the year Arte Moreno took over as owner, the Angels’ farm system was ranked fourth, and then first in 2005. These were the years before they even drafted Mike Trout.

Some players included were John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Mike Napoli, and Jered Weaver, along with Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar. Just some of these players helped the Angels dominate the AL West for decade. 19 years later, we are dead last in the rankings, depending on which baseball outlet you ask. The Angels were terrible in the 1990s, but they still drafted and grew their players among the best in all of Major League Baseball.

Now, we fans believe we can buy contention in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers have done this for years, and they have one World Series Championship. Some will say that one is tainted, but it counts all the same, even in 2020. The Dodgers build prospects and add free agents that fill in their team dynamic. Remember when the Angels did that? Does Vladimir Guerrero ring a bell? We should’ve won another in 2005 if not for a controversial call that changed the ALCS. We hate you, A. J. Pierzynski!

How do LA Angels rebuild?

It is 2024. The Angels have Mike Trout, an always injured Anthony Rendon, a bunch of number four and five starters in a rotation, with more prospects growing. Most of you already know this. We are now in the same position as the Anaheim Angels in the late 1990s. Yes, there is a way to be a solid ball club while, at the same time, rebuilding. For the first time, I’m not blaming ownership. There is no blame on anyone. Every franchise goes through this. We should’ve started this when Vladimir Guerrero left in 2009, but we need to put our money and, yes, pride into our farm system. We went to the quick fixes like CJ Wilson, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and, even though he was a great Angel when he was here, the Torii Hunter signing. Those signings were a massive mistake.

Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. The farm system is an extension of the Angels franchise: Inland Empire, Tri-City (Washington), Rocket City (Alabama), and Salt Lake City. The teams have changed a bit over the years, but when those affiliates were solid, the Angels were solid as well. It sounds so simple, right? Ask the Baltimore Orioles or Pittsburgh Pirates. It is not ... but it is the best option. I know, not what you want to hear.

Is Jordan Montgomery an option?

Jordan Montgomery would be a great fit for this current Angels club, even if they aren’t in contention. If he wants a two-year deal with an one-year option, let him have it. We have young lefties in Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers that need a bit of seasoning. Montgomery is a journeyman. He is now a champion. His relationships with other solid organizations that have done this before, successfully, would help a lot. We see the huge potential in Caden Dana and Chase Silseth. All we need is some time and patience.

We live in a world of, "We want it now!” Baseball is meant to be the opposite of that. Patience, strategy, and order. All three of these things this organization lacks. Yes, maybe it is on Arte Moreno, but I understand him not wanting to pay a Blake Snell price tag. Angel fans need to realize this rebuild needs to start now, and that means expectations need to match. One thing the Angels PR team could do to help is to have a clear and concise message to the fans in which they explain the direction this franchise is moving towards, even if it isn’t a rebuild. That is all us fans are really asking for: clarity. It is literally Marketing or Public Relations 101, as taught in college journalism classes. It should not be this hard.

I challenge the Angels to say something, anything, on the way this franchise is moving forward, or you will start seeing what has been going on in Oakland in Anaheim sooner rather than later.