Spring Training is near.
Pitchers and catchers will report for the Angels this week. Less than two weeks from now, the Angels will play their first game of the Cactus League. As the offseason wraps up, the staff here at Crashing the Pearly Gates ranked each of the moves over the winter. In addition, the staff ranked the offseason as a whole which, unsurprisingly, was very underwhelming for everybody. For new general manager Perry Minasian, many of these moves felt similar to recent offseasons for many Angels fans. A focus on low-risk, short-term moves, all of which were one-year deals, was a clear priority this offseason.
Following are the rankings of each offseason moved as decided by our staff. Included with each player will be their average ranking from our staff, the player’s 2021 ZIPS WAR projection from Fangraphs, and a small write-up. At the very end of the article, you will find the total tallies from our staff.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 1.43
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 1.1 WAR
The pitching version of the multiple Iglesiases the Angels acquired appears first on this list. Raisel Iglesias was acquired in December in what was very clearly a win for the Angels, who essentially acquired him in a salary dump from the Reds. Iglesias is legitimately one of the best relievers in the sport and has the rare long track record of both production and reliability as a reliever. Volatility at the position means there is more risk in Iglesias but it’s hard to find a better and more consistently great reliever than him.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 1.71
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 1.9 fWAR
Quintana could very well end up providing the most value of any acquired player this offseason. The fact that it could come from a major area of weakness is the cherry on top. Truthfully, the fact that Quintana is most likely the best pitcher this offseason is quite underwhelming, especially with names such as Yu Darvish, Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, and Carlos Carrasco being moved. But there is a lot to like with Quintana, mainly his annual durability (his flukey 2020 thumb surgery notwithstanding) and past history of above-average run prevention. If Quintana is league-average starter over 150+ innings in 2021, he’ll be an immense addition to the rotation.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 3
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 2.3 fWAR
From 2016-2020, Andrelton Simmons was a great defensive shortstop with a high-contact, below-average bat at the plate. When the Angels acquired José Iglesias in December, they all but guaranteed they’d have the same kind of player in 2021. No, Iglesias does not come close to the peak of a 2017/2018 Simmons but the Angels aren’t looking for that. What they’re getting instead is a lower ceiling, higher floor shortstop in Iglesias, who has been both better and more durable over the last two years than Simmons. Given that both the prospect cost and financial cost ($3.5 million) was small, this was a win for the Angels, getting a near league-average shortstop for cheap.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 4.71
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 0 fWAR
Slegers was recently acquired from the Rays for a player to be named later. The fact that the Rays, a team that perennially gets the most out of their pitchers, moved Slegers was surprising in itself. Small sample size be damned, Slegers had a 123 ERA+ and 0.5 WAR in 26 innings as a multi-inning reliever in 2020. The 28-year-old doesn’t throw hard nor does he have swing-and-miss stuff but he had superb command (5 percent walk rate) and a minuscule barrel rate (2.8 percent) in 2020. This could end up being a whatever move for the club but enough of the staff at CtPG felt he warranted a spot on this list, something that is certainly backed up by the 2020 numbers.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 5.57
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 0.2 WAR
Claudio is a fine addition. I’m not sure much else needs to be said and the ranking reflects how the site feels about him. Claudio is a soft-tossing lefty reliever who will be fantastic against left-handed hitters (career .242 wOBA and less so against righties (.339 wOBA). He’ll make just $1.125 million on a one-year contract. The new three-batter minimum makes him slightly less valuable but he’ll still fill a role as a useful and funky left out of the bullpen.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 6.14
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 0.4 fWAR
Suzuki is a perfectly fine veteran catcher to complement with Max Stassi in 2021. That’s assuming, however, that Stassi is able to recover well from his second hip surgery in as many offseasons. Suzuki has done quite well the past four seasons in a part-time role, ranking fifth in wRC+ (111) among catchers in that span. Suzuki has hit for power, been a premier bat-to-ball hitter, and crushed lefties (151 wRC+) in that same time. If there’s a downfall, it’s the poor defense (framing and throwing) and the fact that the deadened baseball in 2021 could hurt a fringey power guy like Suzuki.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 6.71
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: 1.2 fWAR
I recently tried to sell Angels fans (and myself) about Alex Cobb in 2021. Based on my own thoughts and the comments from that article, there’s probably a lot of convincing Cobb will need to do in 2021. Furthermore, the rankings here reflect how the site feels about Cobb. There is a lot of risk in the profile based on recent performance, age, and injury risk. Maybe Cobb gets a boost by a switch to a pitcher-friendlier setting and by using his good breaking balls more. Most likely, however, Cobb will not be the starter that the Angels need and will add to the long list of recent disastrous one-year deals for starting pitchers.
- Average CtPG Ranking: 6.71
- 2021 ZIPS Projection: -0.1 fWAR
Fowler was basically the hitting equivalent of Alex Cobb this offseason: a not-so-good, declining, and an aging player with a past history of high production. Fowler was putrid in 2018, useful in 2019, and bad in 2020. Soon to be 35 years old, Fowler’s numbers have declined across the board, to the point where it’s not even reasonable to expect him to be a useful starter at this point. Given that so many useful one-year outfield options were available (Pederson, Rosario, Grossman, Schwarber), it’s a bit surprising that Fowler was the settling point. He’ll surely be better than Jo Adell was last season but I’m not exactly sure that’s the type of bar a potentially-competitive team should be aiming to clear.
- Shohei Ohtani’s two-year, $8.5 million contract garnered a few votes from the CtPG staff.
- The Rule 5 selection of Jose Alberto Rivera, a hard-throwing righty from the Houston Astros system, also got a vote from the staff.
|Brent Maguire||Jeff Joiner||John Henry Weitzel||Chase Kimura||Andrew Maxwell||Charles Sutton||Jessica DeLine||Mat Gleason||AVG|
*All GIFS courtesy of MLB*
Raisel Iglesias is the only one I’m down with.
If Marcus Semien can be had without surrendering a #1 draft pick then get him yesterday!
Brett Anderson signed for only $2.5mm? Perry must be very confident in our group to not take that cheap flyer. Should we be?
Based on the past five years of watching Angels pitching, I think the answer is a resounding no.
Sign Odorizzi and designate someone as Ohtani’s handcuff.
Given our usual string of injuries and ineffectiveness (Ohtani), its the only thing that makes sense to me.
Something stinks about Odorizzi.
what do you mean? I like Jake, he had a really nice 2019 where he made some notable changes (he did a great interview on MLB network explaining some of the changes he made) and parlayed that into a QO. Last year he got hurt, but that was not an arm issue
But there is an Odor about him, no?
And Rougned really stinks.
I was joking. Odor-Izzi. Bad joke but I am constantly seeking humor these days.
Man if you have explain this one we’re all in trouble . Come on we’re not Dodger fans.
Opening Day rotation will be lacking Ohtani. By the time he comes back either somebody will be injured (trAdition) or we can bump Cobb to long relief like you suggest. Canning has an option if you want to get really crazy.
I’m betting greatly against this. But it would be nice.
Ohtani still won’t be ready by opening day?
Apparently I was wrong about that.
We are done with the signings of known names. Maybe something from the dumpster diving yet awaits, we’ll soon see. I can see us having a winning record, maybe even winning our division if the cards fall just right. The American League West
Odorizzi seems to make too much sense at this point. He might command a multi-year deal but his AAV should be reasonable and the club doesn’t have many long-term commitments beyond this year.
No, he’s not the frontline starter they probably need but reliable above-average innings would be a big boost.
“Cobb will not be the starter that the Angels need and will add to the long list of recent disastrous one-year deals for starting pitchers.”
Thank you for saying that. You have now pretty much guaranteed that Alex Cobb will be the next Dylan Bundy.
The disrespect to Dylan Bundy
Doubling Down? Thats Cy Young material right there.
Fun post, I like it. To me, Fowler must be a 7 or 8. With the LF production uncertainty situation, we were needing to get more aggressive with RF upside here and not fallback on a contract friendly acquisition. There is no reason to think Schebler or Lagares represents that upside. Surprisingly, Slegers got ranked quite high by the majority, I might need to do more research on this acquisition but my mind is melding really close to Jeff’s all-up ranking.
I am hoping that not going after a higher upside RF means that the FO has confidence that one of Adell or Marsh will arrive in Anaheim sooner rather than later.
I see Lagares, Schleber, and Fowler as good Spring Training competition from which (hopefully) one emerges as a competent 4th OF (or makes Ward take another step forward and become a decent OF).
But sure, signing a FA RF would have made the team better, at some cost (and reduced chances of further addressing pitching).
The Fowler one is just so confusing for the reasons mentioned. Sure, Adell/Marsh could be ready at some point this year but that’s an IF and not a guarantee. And even if one or both are ready, I’m not sure Justin Upton is the guy to be blocking those guys.
Signing Joc/Rosario/Grossman would’ve given the club better production and their commitments wouldn’t have prevented Adell/Marsh from coming up when they were ready.
Anyone from the Joc/Rosario/Grossman trio would initiate much more killer ABs than Fowler. I’m all for a 1-year bridge until Adell/Marsh are ready but we should be acquiring players to elevate our potential and not just settle. Be creative with a trade or get somebody that is not in their 3rd or 4th year of decline. Ok I get it, Angels are only paying Dex $1.75M but I’ve yet to see any evidence that by avoiding a mere $7M on Joc or $8M on Eddie has netted us a solid arm. Show me Perry.
Great minds! My thinking was basically which players will contribute most, especially at areas of need.
The Angels led the league in blown saves last year. A stud closer should help that.
So should a solid middle rotation arm who can absorb innings.
Can’t knock a near lateral move at short getting a lower leverage bullpen piece who gives up HR at half the rate of the old guy.
The rest are role players and pretty interchangeable in order.
I like how the gifs are all positive. Pitchers striking people out, hitters knocking the ball over the fence, fielders throwing out runners.
However…I find myself not enjoying this. It’s been, to date, an uninspiring off-season, too similar to Eppler’s Era.
Can you imagine a company, having had several bad years in a row, deciding to wait another year before being successful? I mean, making a conscious decision? Like “our product is not very good. Let’s think about improving it next year”.
However, part two….maybe Perry is a genius and it’ll all work out.
I totally agree. I find the discussion around next offseason and having “financial flexibility” completely insulting to players like Trout/Rendon and the Angels fan base at large.
The idea of just trying to get by again in 2021, after five consecutive losing seasons, so they can spend more money next offseason is uhhh… not great!
5 losing seasons seems generous. For me, the team has been dead since 2009.
Really? We won 89 games in 2012, and 98 in 2014.
2012 – third place finish; 2014 – lost the Division Series to KC 3-0. At least the team made a pennant run in 2009.
It still doesn’t mean the team is ‘dead.’ Seriously, 98 wins is quite the achievement – even if they got injured down the stretch and Hamilton couldn’t hit a thing (and shouldn’t have been in the lineup).
There is no such thing as a bad one-year contract.
I don’t agree with this sentiment. The Angels have been obsessively pursuing one-year deals for the past half-decade, especially in the rotation. Just because there isn’t long-term risk with a one-year contract doesn’t mean it’s not detrimental to the short-term prospects of winning more games.
Imagine 2 or 3 year deals for Harvey, Cahill and Allen. Or Tehran still on the team
it can be argued, however, that they were bad 1 yr deals
Well sure but guys are available on one-year deals for a reason. Those guys aren’t on the team anymore but they seriously prevented the Angels from having any semblance of pitching success the past few seasons.
Agreed, the recent ones were f#$%^! horrible.
Looking at the staff vote I notice there is some guy named Mat Gleason who is listed as N/A. Did CTPG DFA him or was he busy prospecting for gold and silver?
Mat participated in the overall offseason grade and had a vote for Shohei Ohtani’s extension. Based on his response, I don’t believe he enjoyed the rest of the offseason moves!
He’s a Reverend, right? I hope he is deep in prayer for the season.
My personal ranking would have Raisel Iglesias at 1 and everyone else at 4.
Yeah, Iglesias has basically been pretty consistently talked about as the best or second-best acquisition by pretty much everybody.