Angels' 5 best Winter Meetings moves

December 7th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- The annual Winter Meetings are generally one of the busiest weeks of the offseason, and last year was a prime example for the Angels.

The club agreed to terms with Anthony Rendon on a seven-year deal worth $245 million last year at the Winter Meetings, surprising many due to their need for pitching. This year, teams will take part in the Winter Meetings remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a look back at the Top 5 Winter Meetings transactions in Angels history:

1. Angels trade for Brian Downing, 1977

The Angels made a big deal on the first day of the 1977 Winter Meetings, sending Bobby Bonds, Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson to the White Sox for Downing, Dave Frost and Chris Knapp. Bonds was coming off a year that saw him hit 37 homers and steal 41 bases, but Downing proved to be one of the best players in Angels history. His 38 career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) rank fourth among all Angels position players behind only Mike Trout, Jim Fergosi and Tim Salmon, according to Downing was an All-Star in 1979, and he was inducted into the club's Hall of Fame in 2009.

2. Angels sign Albert Pujols to 10-year deal, 2011

In one of the biggest moves in Winter Meetings history, the Angels inked three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million pact. It sent shockwaves through the industry, as the Angels also agreed to terms with lefty C.J. Wilson in that same Winter Meetings in Dallas. Pujols has reached many incredible milestones with the Angels -- including reaching 3,000 hits, 2,000 RBIs and 650 home runs -- and was an All-Star in 2015, but the club has yet to win a postseason game with him on the roster.

3. Angels acquire Bobby Knoop in Rule 5 Draft, 1963

The Angels selected Knoop in the Rule 5 Draft from the Braves, and he immediately became a fixture for the club as one of the top defensive second baseman in team history. He paired with shortstop Jim Fregosi as one of the best middle-infield tandems in baseball, and Knoop won Gold Gloves from 1966-68 and was an All-Star in '66. He was inducted into the club's Hall of Fame in 2013 and spent 53 years in the organization in various roles.

4. Angel purchase Bob Boone, 1981

The Phillies thought veteran catcher Bob Boone’s career was nearing its end and sold him to the Angels for $250,000 on Dec. 6, 1981. Boone, however, bounced back with the Angels and was a stalwart behind the plate for the club from 1982-88. He was an All-Star in '82 and won Gold Glove Awards from '85-89.

5. Angels sign C.J. Wilson to five-year deal, 2011

Wilson signed for five years and $77.5 million and didn't pitch in the final year of his deal, but he was solid when healthy with the Angels, posting a 3.87 ERA in 119 starts over four years. He was an All-Star in 2012 and went 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 212 2/3 innings in '13. Wilson also helped the Angels to the postseason in '14, but his career ended in ’16 after undergoing shoulder surgery.