Welcome to this year’s series. The Angels face a tough challenge in a pretty stacked AL West. The bad news is the payroll is still very top heavy and the farm is pretty thin. The good news is there are young pieces to build around and if I play my cards right I might have a decent team in 2024 with room to grow into something really special.
My plan? Leave the lineup essentially the way it is -save a few depth pieces, add a few starters, and rebuild the bullpen.
Sign Jordan Montgomery – 5 years / 105MM / 21MM AAV
Montgomery was a 2023 standout and has been a workhorse the past 3 seasons. He’s obviously coming off a career best season and any long term pitcher signing carries some risk – but it’s a chance the Angels need to take to come even close to replacing Ohtani at the front of the rotation. The Angels need a guy that can regularly pitch into the 6th inning and make 30+ starts with a sub 3.5 ERA.
Sign Seth Lugo – 2 years / 26MM / 13MM AAV
Speaking of starters, Lugo impressed last year on the Padres. He tossed nearly 150 innings with a 3.57 ERA. He’s been steady – posting a 3.50, 3.60 and 3.57 the last three years (though 2021 and 2022 were as a reliever). He wants to start, and he’s very capable of that, but also brings some nice flexibility with bullpen experience in case the Angels need to shift roles or use him out of the pen in the playoffs.
Sign Justin Turner – 1 year / 12MM AAV
If you think Anthony Rendon will play 150 games, I have a bridge to sell you. The Angels need some insurance here and while it’s only a 1 year deal, Turner has shown he can still hit and play, despite being 38 years old. He can also play some DH and 1B and will probably provide some pop to the tune of 20+ home runs.
Sign Kevin Kiermaier – 1 year / 10MM AAV
Jo Adell is not it. Right now, he slot into the Angels depth chart as their 4th outfielder. I’d rather have someone more proven with great defense that can play all 3 spots. Kiermaier isn’t going to provide much pop but can steal a base here and there and can definitely play defense.
Sign Matt Moore – 1 year / 7MM AAV
Moore is the kind of solid bullpen piece the Angels sorely need. Let’s bring him back! The Fangrahps average has him at 1 year / 7 million, but I’d probably even go with a multi year deal here.
Sign Will Smith – 1 year / 4MM AAV
Another veteran in the pen at not much cost. Plus, Smith has been on a World Series team in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Bringing him on almost assures a World Series appearance for the Angels, right?
Trade Kyren Paris to A’s for Zach Jackson
I like Paris, but the Angels don’t need him right now. There are several good middle infield prospects coming soon and right now the Angels also have Neto inked in at shortstop for the foreseeable future. The A’s could use the young talent and the Angels need to build a better bullpen.
Trade Jo Adell to Diamondbacks for Round B Comp Balance Pick
As I said before, Adell ain’t it. He was, however, a former top prospect and sometimes these players just need a change of scenery. The up and coming D-Backs may feel he could help them and in return, the Angels score an extra draft pick. Adell is out of options so he either is on the roster or you move him.
Rotation aka – We don’t need another Righty
Clear Roster Space
These additions raise the need to clear some roster space. To do this, we’ll option Michael Stefanic, Griffin Canning, Jimmy Herget, Andrew Wantz, and Kolten Ingram. They will provide some AAA depth. Note that Detmers also has options so there is some flexibility here as to who the Angels option from the rotation.
The core lineup remains the same, but IMO we have an improved (and veteran) bench. We raise the ceiling on the starting rotation and replace several bullpen pieces with likely better arms. These moves come out to 67 million in additional spend so we fall one million under our limit.