Why the Angels have an advantage over the Red Sox for this free agent slugger

Aug 30, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35)
Aug 30, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a quiet offseason for the Los Angeles Angels. They've lost Shohei Ohtani, and all they've done in terms of MLB additions is sign three relievers to cheap one-year deals. For a team that went 73-89 with Ohtani having an MVP season for them, that's obviously not good enough.

Fortunately, there's a lot more time left of the offseason, and plenty of players for Perry Minasian to target who would improve this Angels team. One of these players is Teoscar Hernandez who can both replace Ohtani in the DH role and also fill in as a corner outfielder.

Hernandez is one of, if not the best outfielder still available not named Cody Bellinger and is sure to receive interest around the league. The Angels are one team that has reportedly shown interest in the slugging outfielder, with the Red Sox as another interested team according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required).

While more teams are likely going to get in the mix, if it's just the Angels and Red Sox who are serious about signing Hernandez, the Angels should like their chances.

The LA Angels should like their chances going up against the Red Sox in a battle for Teoscar Hernandez

Like the Angels, the biggest need the Red Sox have comes in the form of a starting pitcher. Both the Angels and Red Sox have subpar rotations without much when it comes to frontline starters. The Red Sox hope Chris Sale reverts to that form, but at this point it'd be illogical to expect much. It's very possible these teams will be competing for more than Hernandez, as arms like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery make a whole lot of sense for both clubs.

Back to Hernandez, the reason the Angels feel like they'd have a leg up comes simply from need. The Halos as of now would have Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak as their starting outfielders with Jo Adell coming off the bench and Luis Rengifo as the team's DH. While all of these players (except Adell) have proven enough to warrant regular roles, that doesn't mean the Angels are forced to play Moniak or Rengifo every day. Ward is the only one who seems like he'd 100% play every day.

Signing Hernandez would allow the Angels to either have a deep bench by moving one of Moniak or Rengifo there, and would also give them a middle-of-the-order bat that they desperately need with Ohtani gone.

The Red Sox on the other hand don't really feel like a team with much of a need when it comes to a Hernandez addition. They've already pulled off a trade for Tyler O'Neill this offseason to join the likes of Jarren Duran, Masataka Yoshida, Wilyer Abreu, and Ceddanne Rafaela in what appears to be a crowded outfield. Sure, Yoshida or Hernandez could DH in this scenario, but that pushes both Rafaela and Abreu to the bench.

The Red Sox already have a good lineup with clear needs at second base and with their pitching. Signing another subpar defensive outfielder doesn't really make much sense for them. While the Angels also have some outfield depth, they need Hernandez's bat a lot more than Boston does.