ANAHEIM -- With a new CBA in place, it’s time for the Angels to get to work heading into Spring Training before the start of the regular season.
The Halos made several notable moves to improve the roster before the lockout but still have work to do, especially considering they have their sights set on a postseason berth in 2022. The club hasn’t made the postseason since 2014, but it believes it has the high-end talent led by Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout to get there this year.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Angels headed into the 2022 season:
What deals have already gotten done?
The Angels made their first big splash of the offseason by signing right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal for $21 million. They also signed right-hander Michael Lorenzen to a one-year contract worth $6.75 million, with the intention of him joining the rotation in 2022. And they improved their bullpen by re-signing closer Raisel Iglesias to a four-year, $58 million deal, while also inking lefty Aaron Loup to a two-year contract worth $17 million. The club bolstered its infield depth by acquiring Tyler Wade in a trade with the Yankees and claiming Andrew Velazquez from the Yankees, as well.
What are the biggest remaining needs and who might they target to fill these holes?
The Angels could target another starting pitcher and bullpen help, but they must decide how they want to address the shortstop position. There are still a few high-profile shortstops on the market, such as Carlos Correa and Trevor Story, but the team has some internal options and might be better served spending money on pitching.
If the Angels don’t acquire a shortstop, Luis Rengifo figures to be the favorite for that position with Jack Mayfield, Velazquez and Wade also in the mix. If they add another starter, lefty Carlos Rodón would be a good fit because of his upside. He has injury concerns, but those could be mitigated if he is part of a six-man rotation led by Ohtani.
Which of their free agents have already signed elsewhere?
The Angels lost right-hander Alex Cobb to the Giants after he inked a two-year deal worth $20 million. Cobb was solid last season, and there was mutual interest in him returning. But he ultimately signed with San Francisco, and now the Angels will have to look elsewhere for another starter.
Might there be a reunion with any of their remaining free agents?
The Angels already re-signed Iglesias, and they don't appear likely to bring back reliever Steve Cishek or outfielders Phil Gosselin, Juan Lagares or Dexter Fowler.
Cishek would make the most sense to return out of that group. He was mostly solid in 2021, posting a 3.42 ERA in 68 1/3 innings.
Are there any players they are looking to trade?
The team isn’t looking to trade away any specific players, but it would be open to trading prospects for pitching help. The Angels have a lot of young outfielders in their system, and No. 3 prospect Jordyn Adams could be a trade chip. They also have some emerging young middle infielders such as Arol Vera, Kyren Paris and Jeremiah Jackson who would bring interest as well.
What outstanding arbitration cases are on the docket?
The Angels tendered contracts to catcher Max Stassi, reliever Mike Mayers and utility man Wade on Nov. 30, but still they need to reach official arbitration figures with all three players.