The Angels lost 90 games for the first time in 20 years in 2019, and they are looking to bounce back and make the postseason for the first time since ’14. They hired Joe Maddon as their new manager, but there is plenty of work to do this offseason to
The Angels lost 90 games for the first time in 20 years in 2019, and they are looking to bounce back and make the postseason for the first time since ’14. They hired Joe Maddon as their new manager, but there is plenty of work to do this offseason to get the club back on track.
So what are the Angels' biggest needs entering 2020, and what moves have they made to address them? MLB.com is keeping track here. As the offseason continues, be sure to check back for updates.
• Angels have their manager ... now what's next?
The Angels have made it very clear that upgrading their rotation is the top priority, as their starters combined for the second-worst ERA in the Majors behind the Rockies. They’re likely to acquire at least two starters while looking at the very top of the free-agent list for help, and their top target is expected to be Southern California native Gerrit Cole. The 29-year-old right-hander could get the biggest free-agent deal for a pitcher in baseball history, but the Halos do have some payroll flexibility. Signing a player of Cole’s caliber would be a signal to the rest of the league that they’re ready to compete with a core that already has Mike Trout and two-way star Shohei Ohtani at the forefront.
A closer is not a need after the emergence of Hansel Robles, but the Angels could use another reliever or two to bolster their bullpen. They only have one lefty reliever on their 40-man roster, so it would make sense to target a left-hander.
The Angels have Max Stassi and Kevan Smith atop their depth chart, but they could look to add another veteran, especially with Stassi expected to miss the start of the season after undergoing right hip surgery in late September. The Halos are expected to spend their money on pitching, so acquiring a catcher like Yasmani Grandal doesn’t seem very likely, though they could target free-agent backstops such as Martín Maldonado or Robinson Chirinos, who both just appeared in the World Series with the Astros.
Oct. 28: Bour among those outrighted
The Angels cleared five roster spots, outrighting first baseman Justin Bour, two-way player Kaleb Cowart, left-hander Miguel Del Pozo and right-handers Nick Tropeano and Luís García.
Oct. 31: Angels acquire Markel
The Halos traded for reliever Parker Markel from the Pirates for cash considerations. Markel posted a 7.77 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 17 walks in 22 innings with the Bucs and the Mariners in 2019.
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.