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Angels Exploring Free Agency and the Trade Market to Train More “Aggressive” Pitching Personnel

By on November 10, 2021 0

In a conversation with reporters on Tuesday at the MLB GM’s meetings, the main topic of conversation surrounding Angels GM Perry Minasian reflected his club’s primary focus for this offseason.

Throw, throw, throw.

During most of his 45-minute availability, Minasian answered one question on post after another, standing by a courtyard at the Omni Resort in Carlsbad after what he called a “day. productive ”of meetings with other league leaders.

While he hasn’t specifically named targets – whether through free agency or the commercial market – Minasian has explained the type of attributes he hopes Angels launch staff will possess in 2022, in using a particular adjective to sum up what they are. looking for.

“We would just like to be a little more aggressive – I think ‘aggressive’ is the right word,” Minasian said. “Some pitchers set the tone, and I think there’s a ripple effect. I think we were lacking in this area.

And as the offseason kicks off, Minasian believes there will be several ways for the angels to add it.

There’s free agency, of course, which this year features a massive crop of starting pitchers who could complete an Angels rotation that currently only has Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez.

American League finalist Cy Young Robbie Ray and former Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez were two names linked to the club in a report released by MLB Network on Tuesday. But there are plenty more that could be options for the Angels as well, from potential future Hall of Fame members like Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander to younger debutants like Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Jon Gray and Carlos Rodón.

“The frontline pitcher is difficult to acquire,” Minasian said. “That being said, we would like to dramatically improve our rotation… We would definitely like to find an arm or two that can impact the rotation.”

Minasian said the Angels had started to prioritize their free agent targets, but did not offer an exact number of new launchers they wanted to add.

He said he was not opposed to suing players who had benefited from extended qualifying offers from their former clubs, and whose signings would therefore force the Angels to forgo draft picks as compensation (Ray and Rodriguez are two of these candidates).

Minasian believes the franchise will also be able to make a compelling case for free agents.

“We love what we have to offer, from a team perspective, from a clubhouse perspective… I think Southern California is as attractive as any place in the country,” said Minasian. “I hope a lot of these free agents, especially the arms, their favorite color is red.”

Minasian also continued to leave open the possibility of exploring the commercial market, where the Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, and Miami Marlins have all been seen as potential business partners for teams seeking Big League pitching help. .

“If this is an exchange where we have to give up something, obviously we have to weigh that as well,” Minasian said. “But the commerce market is definitely an area where we’ll be looking to see if we can make an addition.”

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez faces the Houston Astros in the first inning of ALCS Game 3 on Oct. 18 in Boston.

(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

Minasian said the reliever pen is another place the Angels will try to acquire new parts, while doubling the team’s interest in bringing Raisel Iglesias together. While he pointed out the potential displayed by some younger intern options such as José Quijada, Andrew Wantz, Austin Warren and Oliver Ortega, he also noted “we would like to add. You can never have enough.

The challenge of making such drastic transformations is not lost on Minasian, who conceded that the desired improvements on the mound will be a “difficult task” for the Angels to accomplish.

Last year, their pitching staff ranked 22nd in ERA team majors, 25th in walks by nine innings, and 19th in batting average against (although they were close to or above to the league average in some advanced metrics such as FIP, SIERA and wins over substitution).

“I obviously think last year is not how we wanted it to end, 77 wins,” Minasian said. “But I think in a year, in two years, we’ll look back and say, ‘Wow, that was an important season for a lot of arms, for people to have a chance, for some of the guys to put them on. same on the map. Hopefully this comes to fruition. “

Still, as Minasian knows as well as anyone, rectifying the Angels’ long-standing pitching issues by next season will almost certainly require a string of successful new additions this winter, too.

“We are exploring everything,” Minasian said. “We have conversations with everyone and try to understand the pitch to some extent and see what fits. “

Here are other notes from the angels from Tuesday’s GM meetings:

  • Minasian said the team will “carefully consider” the possibility of trying to bring back free pitcher Alex Cobb. The 34-year-old right-hander has enjoyed a 2021 rebound campaign, albeit shortened by injury, after being acquired by the Angels in the last offseason. “He’s obviously had a quality year,” Minasian said. “We know the person. He was a quality guy in the clubhouse.
  • When asked if wide receiver Matt Thaiss was up for a major league role, or if the Angels would explore external options as a backup receiver, Minasian said the former first-round pick was “definitely a option to do so, but we are open “to other possibilities as well. “You still want depth in this position,” added Minasian. “Similar to pitching, you can never have enough catches.” Thaiss, 26, returned to triple A receiver last season.
  • Minasian hasn’t revealed much about what the Angels roster might look like in 2022. He said “it’s possible” that Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh could start outfielder next year. He also said that if David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo are the team’s two middle players next year, Fletcher could be shortstop and Rengifo on second. But he reiterated that those types of decisions won’t be made until spring training.

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