The Angels have two options as it enters another offseason not reaching the playoffs for the eighth straight year. General manager Perry Minasian has a difficult decision on whether to retool or rebuild this Angels roster. These roster moves can be influential on the careers of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani as both get another year older. The Angels have two options for their roster. One roster move could be focusing on winning now with Trout and Ohtani on the roster or they can focus on the future. Either way, the Angels roster needs to make changes to make an impact in the American League West. So, will this team end up selling its assets and starting over, or will it be aggressive and try to build this team to become a playoff contender?
The Angels have a Fire Sale
This first option for the Angels roster is to go into a complete rebuild of the roster mode and restart the farm system. With the current owner Arte Moreno, exploring options to sell the team it may be a sign to completely reset the franchise Angels roster. This is an unpopular opinion because of the top-end talent on the roster which includes Trout and Ohtani. However, since Trout entered the league, he has only been to the playoffs once in his eleven seasons.
To say that this team has underachieved maybe be an understatement in this situation. The way that previous general managers have run this team has been going after the biggest star and hoping it would fit rather than filling in needs to help the present and future. For example, when the Angels signed Anthony Rendon general manager Billy Eppler found the hottest commodity and gave him a boatload of money. Now that he has underperformed for three straight seasons the Angels roster has a lot of big contracts on the books. Rendon’s contract now looks like more of a burden rather than a helpful piece moving forward. In this scenario, Perry Minasian needs to determine which players will help his team get to the playoffs and win meaningful games.
Who Has to Go?
The first thing Perry Minasian needs to do is not sign any of the players that are currently free agents for the Angels roster which includes Michael Lorenzen, Archie Bradley, and Matt Duffy. Rather than trading them at the trade deadline they had mediocre numbers to finish out the season and have proved that they are not part of the winning formula. All these players played important roles for the team, but it is not what they need going forward. Minasian needs to find players with more talent through free agency or through trades.
An unpopular opinion would be to trade Shohei Ohtani to try and get a massive player package in return to help the Angels roster. After signing a one-year 30-million-dollar extension last week, Ohtani is their best bargaining chip to build toward the future. Teams would offer anything that the Angels wanted to be able to get Ohtani so it would be worth listening to offers. Likewise, if Ohtani demands a trade, or hints that he won’t re-sign, it might be the Halos’ only option.
Other players to listen to offers to veteran players that have talent still also should be on the table as well. Players like Jared Walsh and David Fletcher are two names that come to mind when thinking about trading away veteran players. Both players have the potential to be great, but injury has made it difficult for them to stay on the field. Finding a team willing to give prospects in return for these players will allow for young talent to find a role on their team. Overall, starting over and selling a lot of their great pieces will not make the fan base happy but it may be the best way for the team to be a juggernaut in the future.
Option 2: Spend Free Agent Money Wisely
The second option is more of a fan favorite which is to spend money on players that will make an impact right away. That does not mean spending four hundred million dollars on offense and defending the signing by stating more offense will help the team get to the next level. What has killed this team has been starting and relief pitching.
Some players that have had good seasons that could make an impact for them are starters like Taijuan Walker and Jameson Taillon that could solidify the rotation. Shohei Ohtani led their staff with a 2.33 earned run average with Patrick Sandoval having a great season with a 2.91 earned run average. To make this staff formidable would be going after Carlos Rodon who is only 30 years old and can be good for the next five to seven years. He would be the number two starter and would give needed depth to the rotation. Adding veteran starters to the rotation will help the Angels roster take a step forward next season in hopes of ending the Angels Postseason drought.
Moving over to the bullpen there are options for them to drastically improve. Jaime Barria and Jimmy Herget had solid years coming out of the bullpens with earned run averages under three. There are a lot of young arms so holding ones that have potential is vital for this team. But relievers like Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera are players to explore to trade. Relievers like Chad Green, Anthony Bass, and/or Andrew Chafin would be interesting pieces to go after. Going after these relievers would help the offense not have to be world-beaters and win games.
Which closer would use to win you the World Series?
Overall, the Angels have two legitimate options which include going full-on fire sale or making smart signings to help the team now. With arguably the two best players it would be nice if the Angels took the route of making smart signings so that Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout can show off their talents to the world during playoff baseball.
Let us know which direction the Angels roster should go in the comments below!