ANAHEIM -- The Angels have certainly been busy this offseason, as they’ve made several moves in an attempt to bolster their depth heading into next season.
It hasn’t been the splashiest offseason for the Halos, but they’ve filled several holes on their roster and are better equipped to deal with the unexpected, which was a major issue last season. Injuries to key players such as Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, David Fletcher, Taylor Ward and Jared Walsh hampered the season.
General manager Perry Minasian also indicated that the Angels aren’t done just yet, as they still could add another starting pitcher and relief help. He also wouldn’t rule out acquiring another position player, but it appears pitching is more of a priority right now.
“We’re still looking at things,” Minasian said. “There are still some areas to improve. It’s not like we’re packing up shop and going on vacation. We're gonna continue to look, whether it's the rotation, the bullpen, the position player group. If it's raising the floor with more Minor League signings or maybe the trade market, I still think there are ways to improve this club, and we'll examine all those things.”
But the big question for the Halos is whether these moves will be enough to compete in what is shaping up to be a tough division. The Angels finished third in the division in 2022, going 73-89 to finish 33 games back of the eventual World Series champion Astros.
The second-place Mariners, who won 90 games, have also made several impact moves this offseason as well as the fourth-place Rangers, who went 68-94. The A’s, who won 60 games, remain in a rebuild, but the other four clubs have their sights on the postseason. Here’s a deeper look at what the other teams in the division have done:
Houston remains the class of the division, but it lost veteran ace Justin Verlander and first baseman Yuli Gurriel to free agency. But the Astros have enviable rotation depth, and they signed José Abreu to replace Gurriel at first, while also re-signing outfielder Michael Brantley. Verlander will be tough to replace, but they’re still one of the best teams in baseball.
Seattle finally snapped its postseason drought last year, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Mariners figure to be a contender yet again after an interesting offseason that saw former Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto swing several big trades. Seattle acquired slugging outfielder Teoscar Hernández from the Blue Jays and Kolten Wong from the Brewers. It came after the Mariners made a huge trade at last year’s Deadline, acquiring ace Luis Castillo from the Reds. They have Castillo for a full season to lead a talented rotation. They’re not quite on Houston’s level, but they should be in postseason contention.
Texas made a splash last offseason when it signed shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien to huge contracts, but the club simply didn’t have the pitching to compete. The Rangers addressed that this offseason, signing Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and former Angels lefty Andrew Heaney, and trading for Jake Odorizzi. Signing deGrom has its risks due to his injury history, but when he’s healthy, he’s among the best pitchers in baseball. Texas could compete for a postseason spot if deGrom stays healthy and leads the revamped rotation.
Oakland continues to rebuild and trade away star players, including catcher Sean Murphy, who was sent to the Braves in a three-team deal in December. The club added some veterans by signing Jace Peterson, Aledmys Díaz and reliever Trevor May, but the A’s appear headed for last place for a second consecutive season.