The Los Angeles Angels had one of the worst bullpens in baseball this past season. That's become an all-too-familiar theme for this organization, as they can't seem to develop relievers well and the expensive arms they sign don't pan out. The Halos did have some bright spots in their 'pen like the first half of Carlos Estevez, the entire season of Matt Moore, and Jose Soriano breaking out, but there wasn't much else to like.
The bullpen was an area the Angels would have to improve greatly for the team to be better in 2024. While they've addressed the bullpen with three signings, the additions they've made are all gambles rather than arms they can really rely on.
The fear of this being another year where Angels roll their eyes when certain relievers enter the game is very real. Barring more external help, this bullpen appears to once again be in bad shape. Fortunately the season does not start today, but if it did, this is what the Angels bullpen would look like.
The LA Angels need to add a high-leverage arm to make this bullpen close to good enough
CP: Carlos Estevez
SU: Jose Soriano
SU: Ben Joyce
RP: Luis Garcia
RP: Adam Cimber
RP: Adam Kolarek
RP: Jimmy Herget
RP: Jose Suarez
This bullpen has very little for Angels fans to get excited about. The way Carlos Estevez ended his season gives every Angels fan reason to believe he's not cut out to be a closer. His outstanding first half likely bought him the start of this upcoming season in that role, but he should have a short leash.
Youngsters Jose Soriano and Ben Joyce are full of upside, but are inexperienced at the MLB level. They can prove to be excellent. That's obviously what everyone wants. However, they might not be ready to take on the increased role that comes with being primary set-up men. The Angels need these pitchers to pitch to their potential because of their elevated roles. The bullpen is in rough shape if they struggle.
Newcomers Luis Garcia, Adam Cimber, and Adam Kolarek were all signed to cheap one-year deals. They've all been good in the past, but are coming off down years which is why they received cheap one-year commitments. The Angels hope Kolarek can be their left-handed specialist, but it's very hard to navigate using one of those with the three-batter rule. Garcia and Cimber are a bit more flexible, but with Garcia coming off a down year and Cimber coming off a miserable season, who knows how good they'll be.
Jimmy Herget's spot can be had by others as well. Andrew Wantz is another reliever in a similar spot as a guy who didn't pitch well enough to earn a spot but will be in the mix. Sam Bachman is another name that comes to mind, but who knows how healthy he'll be when Spring Training rolls around.
Jose Suarez has a spot locked in for now, as an arm without options. The Angels would be better off trading this southpaw, but as long as he's here, he appears to have a spot.
This bullpen has the potential to be decent, but a lot would have to go right for that to happen. There's nobody anyone can fully trust, but there is also a lot of upside with guys like Estevez, Soriano, and Joyce in particular. The Angels would greatly benefit from signing at least one high-leverage reliever, but who knows if that will actually happen.