The Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world when they signed the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, to a five-year $185 million dollar deal. This contract includes a lot of risk given deGrom's injury history but when healthy, he's the best pitcher in the game undisputedly.
The Rangers pair deGrom with Martin Perez and Jon Gray in what all of a sudden appears to be a very solid rotation. Last offseason Texas signed Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to mega-deals as well. The Rangers have a ton of good young talent and now have the best pitcher in the game. They won't be a 90-loss team anymore.
What this means for the Angels is very simple. They must make a big move to keep pace in the suddenly loaded AL West.
The Astros just won the World Series and are in the midst of a dynasty. Even if they lose Justin Verlander, they're not going anywhere. The Mariners are a team with an elite rotation, one of the best young players in the game in Julio Rodriguez, and they upgraded with the Teoscar Hernandez trade. They're not going anywhere.
Both the Astros and Mariners were 90+ win teams in 2022 and both have gotten better as of now after Houston signed Jose Abreu.
The Angels have done a great job improving their team as well. They signed Tyler Anderson to help fortify what already was a good rotation. They traded for Gio Urshela to fix their biggest issue of last season, their infield depth. Their most recent move was acquiring Hunter Renfroe to fill their corner outfield hole.
The Angels still had moves to make even before the deGrom signing. There's an opening in the rotation they have to fill. There're relievers they have to sign. But now, after the deGrom signing, the Angels have to sign one of the star free agent shortstops if they want to compete.
The Angels on paper might be the fourth-best team in the AL West after the deGrom signing. He's that much of a needle-mover. With that in mind, the Angels need a huge move to help catapult them back into contention in this difficult division.
Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson are all available. Signing one of them would mean the Angels go over the tax, but at this point, it just has to be done. Shortstop is the weakest link offensively, and any of those four options would make the Angels much better.
The Angels have done well so far, but couldn't be done already and now especially cannot be close to done after the deGrom news.