The MLB season is approaching with the World Baseball Classic right around the corner. Before we know it pitchers and catchers will be reporting to training camp and the 2023 season will begin. The Angels have had an interesting offseason in hopes to compete in the strong American League West. With Mike Trout aging and Shohei Ohtani on the verge of being a free agent, it is prevalent for the team to push for the playoffs. Some of the moves this offseason could help them get to the playoffs but will it be enough to keep Ohtani and other talents with the Angels?
The Angels made a couple of trades to bolster the starting lineup. The front office knows that the window with these two stars is on the team. They have used the young prospect capital they have gained to add talent to the team.
There first trade the Angels made was acquiring Gio Urshela from the Twins for right-handed pitcher Alejandro Hidalgo. Defensively Urshela is a massive infield upgrade on the infield. He will not have a definite starting role but he could be a piece that takes over shortstop if Luis Rengifo does not pan out like he is supposed to.
The other trade they made was acquiring Hunter Renfroe for three pitchers including Janson Junk. This trade adds a veteran power bat into the lineup and solidifies right field for the Angels. Jo Adell was not ready for the outfield yet and by adding Renfroe it solidifies that the Angels will try and make a playoff push.
The biggest free agent that the Angels signed was Tyler Anderson previously of the Dodgers. Anderson had his best statistical season with a 2.57 earned run average and a 15-5 record. A big part of Anderson’s success was pitching behind a great lineup each outing. It will be interesting to see if he can have the same success.
The other significant signing they made was getting Brandon Drury. He will take over at second base for the Angels. He had a very good 2022 campaign with a .263 batting average, 28 home runs, and 87 runs batted in. He will be an upgrade over David Fletcher who was consistently injured this past season.
What Could Happen this Season?
In the best-case scenario, this team can compete for an American wild card spot. That may be a tall task with how much better the American League West has become. The defending champions Astros do not look like they will relinquish control anytime soon. The Mariners who were a playoff team will look to compete with the Astros with the talent they have. The Angels will be competing for third place with the Texas Rangers who just added Jacob DeGrom.
I believe that the Angels will fight for third but the biggest weakness for this team right now is their bullpen. As constructed right now they do not have a top-end reliever that could shut down a game. Last year there were many games that the starters would have a great game with the bullpen blowing the lead.
A couple of relievers they could take a flyer on include Sean Newcomb, Chad Green, and Michael Fulmer to add a little more experience to the bullpen. Overall, with how the team is constructed there is a chance that the Angels make some noise in the American League, but there are still some areas to improve the roster to give people more confidence in making it in.
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