The Los Angeles Angels went 73-89, finishing third in the AL West. The Astros won the division once again and the Mariners won 90 games for the second consecutive season. Both teams made the postseason. The Angels got off to a hot start but faltered. The Rangers underperformed, and the Athletics.... are the Athletics.
The Angels haven't made the postseason since 2014 and haven't been over .500 since 2015. Serious improvements would have to be made for them to snap that streak in 2023.
The AL West has been busy this offseason, with four of the five teams making moves. The Angels have been the most active team in the majors. Where do they stand right now?
How good are the LA Angels relative to their AL West foes?
The Astros just won the World Series this past season and have been active so far. They re-signed Rafael Montero, one of the key pieces to their fantastic bullpen, to a three-year deal. Then yesterday they signed Jose Abreu to be their first baseman. Abreu is a massive upgrade to Yuli Gurriel. We don't know where things stand with Justin Verlander, but even if he doesn't come back to Houston they have to be considered the favorites to win this division.
The Mariners have been a team on the rise the last couple of years and finally snapped their record-setting postseason drought. They're a young, fun team with a lot of star talent. They acquired a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat in Teoscar Hernandez. While they did give up a good reliever in Erik Swanson, the Mariners desperately needed a big bat like this and have the bullpen depth to afford the loss there. Seattle should be considered the second-best team in this division right now.
The Rangers made a trade for Jake Odorizzi and brought back Martin Perez, but haven't done much else. They've been rumored to be in talks with pitchers like Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodon, but until one of those moves would be made, there isn't much to talk about there.
Lastly, the Athletics don't seem to care about winning so I don't feel the need to say much about them.
The Angels I believe are much improved from where they were last season. They've made three big moves, with the first one being the Tyler Anderson signing. Anderson gives them the starter they needed to add. Next, they traded for Gio Urshela. This move is a bit confusing, as Gio is a third baseman who will be asked to play out of position whenever Anthony Rendon is healthy, but it does give them the depth they've been lacking. Last season they had to start guys like Matt Duffy and Andrew Velazquez in the infield, so Gio is a big step up there.
Lastly, the Angels made a trade with the Brewers acquiring Hunter Renfroe. This completed their outfield and added another 25+ home run bat to a lineup full of them.
The Angels are definitely a better team than they were in 2022 and should be in the postseason conversation. However, I don't think they've done enough to move up in the standings in this division. While that's what I think, that doesn't have to be a bad thing. The Phillies won 87 games and were third in the NL West. They ended up winning the Pennant and were two wins shy of winning it all. All the Halos have to do is get in.
The Angels still need to make more moves. They need another pitcher to complete what should be a very good rotation once again. They need to add a couple of relievers. They've signed Chris Devenski and Jacob Webb to minor league deals, but they need legitimate late-game relievers. Lastly, they really should try to find a way to improve at shortstop. Money is tight right now, but that's another position they have to improve to solidify their standing as a true playoff contender.
The Angels have gotten off to a great start this offseason with the moves they've made and I don't think they're done yet. It'll be interesting to see where Perry goes from here.