The Trevor Bauer-Angels connection that has been rampant all winter appears to be no longer.
According to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels “aren’t in on Trevor Bauer but still expect to beef up starting rotation”. In Torres’ piece, she cites numerous sources and lists several reasons why Bauer won’t end up in Anaheim. First and foremost, the Angels current financial situation. The club’s luxury tax payroll currently sits at $186.5 million, which gives the club less than $25 million to spend before hitting the luxury tax.
Bauer, who is seeking a contract with a $36 million Annual Average Value (AAV), would almost certainly put the Angels above the $210 million luxury tax threshold. The Angels did run out a franchise-high $194 million luxury tax payroll in 2020 (pre-COVID) but there’s no indication that Angels owner Arte Moreno would go above-and-beyond that figure. From a strict financial sense, the Bauer connection doesn’t work and likely never made much sense in the first place.
But there’s an added layer to this Bauer-Angels connection. Bauer’s ugly history with Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, his former pitching coach with Cleveland from 2013-2017, is well-known. You can read more about that relationship from a 2019 Sports Illustrated piece. According to Torres, however, the relationship appears to be completely untenable. According to Torres:
“The relationship between Bauer and Callaway is believed to be eroded beyond repair, according to a person with knowledge of Bauer’s current negotiations.”
This should come as no surprise as the two have drastically different viewpoints on pitching philosophy. Bauer also has a lengthy history of character issues that extend beyond just the relationship with Callaway. Perhaps then, it should come as no surprise that Bauer’s relationship and character issues are getting in the way of a potential fit in Anaheim.
As far as where the Angels go from here, there are still some rotation options in free agency, albeit less appealing than Bauer. Jake Odorizzi, who has already been linked to the Angels, makes plenty of sense. James Paxton could also be a viable option but brings significantly higher injury risk than Odorizzi. With Masahiro Tanaka likely heading back to Japan, the market is about to get even thinner. Beyond these three, the list of remaining starters are generally back-end starters, which the Angels seemingly have plenty of.
A trade for a frontline starter seems unlikely, given the potentially bananas price tag for guys like Luis Castillo or German Marquez. In a tweet on Wednesday night, Torres all-but shot down the idea of this scenario, citing the lack of prospect capital to make it work. That means the Angels will enter the season without a true frontline arm and try to make it work with lesser options.
The Angels generally neglected starting pitching for the past half-decade and it showed. No rotation has posted fewer Wins Above Replacement than the Angels since 2016. The club better have another move up their sleeve or they’re playing a dangerous game once again in 2021.
Well, I guess Paxton and then beefing up the bullpen and rest of the lineup is the way to go. Gonna be tough next winter when Bundy, Heaney, and Quintana are all free agents.
Paxton is a Pipe Deeam!
Are we there yet?
Yeah. The whole “financial flexibility” aspect for the next offseason is a bit overblown for this reason. They’re going to practically have an entire rotation to fill with Bundy/Heaney hitting free agency.
Going to need more pen acumen and depth. Maybe three out of the current staff can get you 6 innings on a regular basis.
In other words, “Hey Trevor, if you do want to play in Anaheim, get real.”
Don’t mean to be a pessimist, but it seems to me that the Angels are pretty much punting 2021. I don’t think we’ll be signing anyone past a 1 year deal, and those who do sign 1 year deals will be moved at the deadline for prospects to build towards 2022 (hopefully) and beyond. Unfortunately there is about $50m going toward players with negative value and I don’t see Arte making any significant moves until that falls off at the end of the 2021 season. Also, I think it is pretty clear that there are significant prospects that will not be able to reach close to their full potential until after 2021 (Walsh, Adell, Marsh, and Detmers).
I really don’t understand this argument. The team has improved since last season. We only lost Simba, and replaced him with Iglesias. We lost no one from the rotation, and added Quintana (and I would still like to add more). We replaced relief pitchers who were losing their stuff with Iglesias and Claudio.
Is punting the same thing as not selling all prospects and overpaying for a pitcher that might not want to come?
All rumors suggest we aren’t done adding pieces, but the pessimism around here makes it seem like we are the Pirates who are selling everyone not bolted down.
The reality of the situation is even with the moves that have been done, this is still a team that will most likely end the season just under .500 and miss the playoffs …… again.
I don’t think we’ll be under .500 but I do feel that we’ll miss the playoffs. Even though the bullpen is improved the dearth of SP will again be the difference.
The winning percentage last year was .433. If the team gets to .460, Perry has miraculously “raised the floor”.
As Bauer is no Cole, it was never worth the 30+ multi-year so I am rather relieved to see this article.
Whether Perry gets another arm or not, passing on Bauer has likely kept some flexibility for the future and avoided a high risk of backfiring.(+he IS a douche…)
Why am I not surprised? Typical Angels will most likely, again, hand out 1yr deals to patch the rotation, fill it with more Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill type pitchers. Another sub .500 season and another year Trout misses out on postseason. Why did we fire Eppler when we’re just getting more of the same?
The issue remains: Trout and Redon will cost $70m in 2021. Pujols and Upton will cost $45m in 2021. There is value with the Trout and Rendon expenditures. The surrounding cast – not so much. Spending $115m on four players and only receiving partial performance value from that investment remains a significant obstacle in realizing sustainable improvement.
Yep. It hurts when your organization isn’t able to consistently develop enough talent to supplement the expensive core of a team.
“Try to make it work with lesser options.”
Lol. So what else is new?
The Angels again miss the playoffs and short-change Mike Trout by not surrounding him with a team capable of making a championship run.
Getting within 3-5 games of winning the division but ultimately falling short will be the legacy of the second half of Moreno’s ownership.
Even that 3-5 game comment is optimistic. They haven’t been that close since 2015.
Well, remember last season after that series in San Diego where we beat the Padres we still had an outside shot at the playoffs going into the last week. We would have had to have won like six straight etc but technically we were still in it.
Also, was it 2017 or 2018 where we played Texas on the final day with a chance to get in but lost big on that final Sunday.
Mets traded Matz… he’s going there.
Give me Odorrizi, Walker and some bullpen pieces. Perry is going to spend the year trying to develop Detmers, Rodriguez and Kochanovic to see it he can squeeze out a real pitching prospect that he can trade with one of the deep OF pieces like Adams or Marsh for a frontline starter during the trade deadline. With no expanded playoffs, there will be vastly fewer teams in contention by August. Neither will we, but he will plan for 22. Once I heard no expanded playoffs I knew he’s punting the year.
I’d honestly sign Oderizzi and Walker to longer term deals. Jake’s 30, Walker 28. Give em both something in the 3/21-30 territory. Both can be very effective, the Angels look to be thin on arms for a while, and Bundy, Walker, Oderizzi, Heaney, Canning, Quintana, Ohatni doesn’t scream champion but it’s solid, and if Ohtani and a couple of those other guys pitch toward their high end that’s a solid rotation in an Oakland A’s play off team sort of way. If the Angels trade for a more obvious #1 at some point nothing wrong with having those two at the back end of a good rotation.
Blow past last year’s payroll a little and get Tony Watson and say Tommy Hunter (or any number of righty relievers)…. our pen is pretty solid then too. It’s not like our division is full of unbeatable squads. We could compete.
Weren’t we punting last year for this year? Lol getting tired of hearing we’re punting. When are we running? Realistically it doesn’t make sense but I just don’t understand what the organization is going for. I am starting to really feel like it’s gotta be either gut the farm and go for it or tank.
“… getting tired of hearing we’re punting.”
If I were Trout I’d be royally pissed.
The Angels are the MLB equivalent of punting on 4th and short in opponent’s territory
Yep. That’s a good analogy.
The song that expresses the Angels path for the last 10-15 years is of course “Build Me Up Buttercup” (Arte’s Theme). The task of the new era/next ear Angels is to overthrow that template.
It is up to Maddon and Minasian to write a new script. The question is will they be able to pull it off despite the difficulties involved in working within a Moreno run organization ??
This team has been punting ever since Dipoto and Ric Wilson celebrated by taking Ward as a first round pick. The draft strategy of this team for the last 6 years plus has been flawed, and now the results have proven how flawed it has been. On paper they thought they could draft the “best available athlete” and then if pitching is needed they could just “flip him for pitching”. Well, reality has struck them square in the face, and the only pitching they are getting for their “best available athlete” is some teams AAAA starter.
When money is involved that should be proof enough that there is no Prep or Colligate scouting to speak of. Relying on national publications does not get it done.
Odorizzi has grown on me a lot. Although, it’s hard to tell if that’s due to just liking his appeal more or to the realization that the Angels aren’t getting that huge starter that many expected.
I’m relieved to be honest. Reading and hearing about his escapades through this offseason turned me off. I cannot see him blending in with the team. Unlike Cole from last year, I’m not going to fret about this. I remain positive, Perry will still add to the roster and raise the floor.
To be frank, I don’t care about “escapades” as long as they don’t involve breaking the law.
I care about WINNING!
Because we Angels fans are always happy when we don’t sign expensive FA pitchers we will be stuck in our lot of losing.
Just know what you are settling for.
He is the Antonio Brown baseball equivalent. Read the SI article in the link above. I just don’t see a fit with Trout and Rendon. A clubhouse menace is not conducive to winning. Bauer is not good enough to be a diva but does borderline on a high-level of doucheness.
We were in on Cole but he wanted to play for his favorite team and a perennial contender. This is an old story. “Arte is cheap.”
You don’t think Cole would have gone to the team that paid the most??
The Yankees offered quite a bit more. The owner has to put winning above everything else. Arte does not do that.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think an owner should be stupid in the contracts he signs. But I am not convinced now that Arte puts winning above everything.
If so, why would he eliminate his entire international scouting dept.??
In MLB especially, scouting and developing international talent is a MUST.
Just look at at our past with players like Aybar etc who were key to us winning divisions.
That market is too important to be totally ignored. That DOES speak to Arte being cheap. Sorry, but it is true.
I’m pretty sure we have international scouts right now.
They very well could use the International Scouting Pool. Who knows as the club cuts a lot corners and in the big picture this very easily could be one that qualifies as a cut corner.
Perhaps this is a new development with the hiring of Minasian.
I remember reading about Perry’s team coming in with him. Maybe Perry made this part of his “plan.”
Many folks here have talked about the defunding of the international scouting. The Dominican for one is so important. Even if the situation has now been corrected/amended Arte should never have taken those steps in the first place.
Sign me a trio out of Brett Anderson, Mike Fiers, Rich Hill, Mike Leake, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Shoemaker, Adam Wainwright, Taijuan Walker, Trevor Williams, Steve Cishek, Alex Colome, Shane Greene, Tommy Hunter, Mark Melancon, Yusmeiro Petit, Trevor Rosenthal, Ryan Tepera, Tony Watson or Justin Wilson and lets get on with it.
Nobody’s gonna be impregnated with joy around here over those guys, but no one on here’s ever happy anyway, and I know I’ll be happy just watching at least a few pitchers who don’t piss around walking four per 9. Limit the damage home runs can cause and let our offense slug it out with teams and see if we can at least make a season out of it, if not actually make it to the play offs, windows be damned.
I would be happy if we got Bauer. We’re not getting results from those guys that Bauer would give us. I guess that’s why he’s gonna make over 30 million though.
Again, you are correct.
Mirth control keeps me from being impregnated with joy.
Mirth control? 😂 You win this thread.
I’m prepared for more nothing. Rich Hill, perhaps. He’s been good but he’s 41. Tajuan Walker, maybe. Or maybe no one. Maybe we’ll find out how happy we are with what we already have. Until Harvey pitches. I mean until Teheran pitches. I mean…
but if Perry’s intent is to create a great farm system then 2021 isn’t anything we need to worry about. We can sit back and just enjoy games.
I bet Callaway is less expensive than the pitching coaches that get along with Bauer. Cheap Arte hates pitching.
The lack of pitching acquisitions the past decade is just so strange
I was devils advocating against the idea that it’s time zone and taxes that scares off FAs with some guys at work, but one of them brought up a good point, who are the MAJOR pitching signings from the other California teams the last few years? Sure, trades happen, but what high end pitcher has decided to sign in California the last say 4 years? The last one I could think of was Grienke’s last Doyers contract. Kershaw stayed with the Dodgers, but no one was gonna pay him close to what they did.
In fact, how many major free agents have signed out here amongst the Padres, A’ss, Angels, Giants and Doyers in the last few years? Rendon with us, Machado…. Hosmer I guess? Upton? I’m sure I have forgotten someone, and there are the Betts/Trout extensions, but that’s a lot of major market signing not a lot of stars.
With Callaway in the dugout, Bauer was always a not going to happen.
Because if you’re the Angels, who very clearly don’t understand how to utilize statcast data and pitch science effectively, you should hold on to a coach that doesn’t understand it and pass on the player that is the reason it made it to the big leagues.
I’m surprised that the Bauer-Callaway connection wasn’t mentioned as often this offseason. It seemed like a rather big issue.
Did you notice how the Callaway issue came up when Bauer was pimping himself to Angel fans on twitter? No, guess his tweets were just to drive up the price for Mets, Doyers and Jays
Callaway, Maddon’s pitching coach who was with the Indians, doesn’t use advanced stats?
Arte gonna say fuck it at the last minute.
Who is “Ervin Santana”
I’m ok with this. Can’t see him replicating last year or even approaching it. Let him be overpaid and controversial in NY.
I was always pretty content to not sign Bauer. I’m not content, however, with the rotation as it currently stands.
I was hoping for a Gray trade, figured a Carrasco or Tanaka was a more reasonable ask, liked the Musgrove idea…..but so far just Quintana.
Totally agree. Just too much coin for the return. I’d rather fortify the pen and add another mid-level starter.
Can’t say I didn’t see it coming but kind of disappointed all the same. Wish we could sign one of the top pitcher for once but any pitching will be welcomed as long as it’s one of the next tier guys.
He was always too expensive. Hopefully Perry never considered Bauer a Plan A and isn’t just now scrambling for a Plan B. I’m with Gritch above, let’s get a couple 2nd tier starters under 3 year contracts so we have some depth and don’t wake up to this “surprise” need every offseason. I want Odirizzi on a 3 year$34m deal bad. Wish we’d have done it with a Lance Lynn or Mike Minor or Charlie Morton a few years back.
We have two spots open on the 40-man, so it is possible, given that we don’t sign an OF or anyone else.
There is room, perhaps, in releasing/trading Barretto/Rengifo/Jam Jones, and maybe (just maybe) one of the RP could be run through waivers.
Barretto is still on the 40 man? Why?
It’s a head scratcher. The man is injured and has no options. Something has to give before the season starts.
I worry about the lack of options of some of our 6/7/8 starting pitchers. If we sign more pitchers rather than just one ace, then what do we do with Barria (out of options). Canning and Ohtani have some, but it seems unlikely we start them in the minors or shuttle them. Pena has one, but Mike Mayers and Dillon Peters are out (but perhaps that is less of a big deal). If we sign too many starting pitchers (2-3) then we probably need to trade Barria (or at least put him in the pen)
Barria in the pen should work, and if need be (and it will) he could work long relief.
Barria in the pen as a long innings guy should be the plan. Interesting on Barreto. I guess we traded for him so don’t want to admit defeat yet?