Why the Angels should still trade Jose Suarez despite tendering him a contract

The Angels kept Jose Suarez around past the tender deadline but should still look to trade him this offseason.

Sep 22, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Suarez (54)
Sep 22, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Suarez (54) / Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Approaching the non-tender deadline, it felt like the Los Angeles Angels could have parted ways with two of their players. Both Jose Quijada and Jose Suarez are in arbitration and feel like they'd provide very little value to the 2023 Angels. To the surprise of many, the Angels opted to keep both and tender them contracts. What was even more surprising was their decision to non-tender a player who hasn't even hit arbitration yet, Jose Marte.

The Angels faced different decisions when it came to Quijada and Suarez. Quijada is a player worth keeping around, but he's also going to miss most, if not the entire 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. He's a player who would've helped the team if he was healthy, but the team will now be paying him to potentially not throw a single pitch.

Suarez, on the other hand, is completely healthy but doesn't have a clear role. Because of that, the team would be better off trading him than keeping him around.

LA Angels should get what they can in a Jose Suarez trade and move on

Jose Suarez entered the 2023 season as the Angels' fifth starter. His 2022 second half was the best half of his career, and gave Angels fans some hope that he'd settle into the back of the rotation nicely. That optimism wavered very quickly as the southpaw put up a 9.62 ERA in six starts as a starter. The southpaw would then land on the IL, missing most of the season before returning as a reliever in September.

Now, as we look ahead to 2024, Suarez really has no role. He's not good enough to be a part of this rotation even if they make no upgrades. He's not good enough to be a late-game reliever either, even with the lack of left-handed options. He could be fine in a long relief role, but even then, Kenny Rosenberg showed more flashes as a left-handed option for that role down the stretch.

Another thing holding Suarez back is his lack of options. The Angels must keep him on the active roster. In order to send him down, they'd have to pass him through waivers where he'd almost certainly be claimed. I mean, even Tucker Davidson got claimed off of waivers.

Despite what many Angels fans might think of him, Suarez does have some value. He's had success in the past and is still just 25 years old. Left-handed starters do not grow on trees and some team will want to take a chance on a younger one with some decent stuff. He can be a fit either out of the bullpen somewhere or in the back end of a rotation for a team that is willing to take a chance on him.

Suarez would complicate things due to his lack of options if he were to remain an Angel, and the team simply has better options they can turn to both in the rotation and in the bullpen.

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