CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Angels general manager Perry Minasian again reiterated the club’s need for pitching at the GM Meetings on Tuesday and said the annual event often helps set the groundwork for future moves in the offseason.
The Angels have already checked in on free-agent starters such as Robbie Ray and Eduardo Rodríguez, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, and also had a scout at veteran Justin Verlander’s showcase this week. And Minasian said they’ll do their due diligence on all starting pitchers available via free agency or trade this offseason.
“I wouldn’t rule out anything,” Minasian said. “Obviously, it depends on the marketplace and what's available. And we're continuing to gather information in that sense, but I wouldn't rule out a trade, or free agency. There's different avenues to acquire pitching.”
The Angels are likely to add at least two starting pitchers this offseason, possibly three depending on the market. They could bring back veteran Alex Cobb as well and are exploring multiple ways to improve the staff, although Minasian cautioned that it can be hard to acquire frontline rotation talent.
"It's very difficult, but with that being said, we'd like to significantly improve our rotation," Minasian said. "That's an area where we'll definitely look at a certain type of quality. And everybody has different definitions of a frontline starter."
The bullpen also needs to be addressed, and Minasian said the Angels are interested in bringing back closer Raisel Iglesias, even if he rejects their qualifying offer. Shortstop remains another position of need, and Minasian wouldn’t rule out adding a shortstop via free agency this offseason. It’s an intriguing middle-infield class that includes Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Javier Báez and Marcus Semien.
“Our job as a baseball operations group is to discuss all possibilities,” Minasian said. “And this is one of the only times of the year where you have the other people that run clubs in the same spot. There’s a lot of dialogue and a lot of access, and I enjoy those discussions.
Rodriguez to miss most of 2022
Right-hander Chris Rodriguez underwent right shoulder surgery after the season and is expected to miss most of next year, Minasian said. Rodriguez, 23, had a breakout rookie season, posting a 3.64 ERA with 29 strikeouts and no homers allowed in 29 2/3 innings. He initially served as a reliever before moving into the rotation in early August. He’s had a history of injuries, including a back issue that limited him to just 9 1/3 innings in the Minors from 2018-20.
“I’m not going to give a time frame,” Minasian said. “But it’s probably the majority, if not the whole season.”
Angels part ways with Hines, Molina and Butterfield
The Angels made changes to their coaching staff, as they decided not to retain first-base coach Bruce Hines, catching coach José Molina or third-base coach Brian Butterfield. The dismissals of Molina and Butterfield had been previously reported.
Minasian said they’re currently in the process of interviewing candidates for the three openings. Hines also coached the outfielders and Butterfield coached the infielders, so the club will need to find replacements that fit that mold.
“They brought a lot to the organization,” Minasian said. "But it comes down to fit, and we're looking for a different fit. We're trying to take our time and do it the right way, not rush it. Because we know how important it is.”
• Superstar Mike Trout is fully healed from the season-ending right calf strain that he suffered on May 17. He spoke to Minasian by phone last week and said he’s been running and working out without any issues.
• The Angels could add a veteran catcher this offseason to pair with Max Stassi. Matt Thaiss remains an option internally, but he doesn’t have any Major League experience as a catcher after converting back to the position this year at Triple-A Salt Lake.
• The Angels could receive José Soriano back from the Pirates after he was designated for assignment on Sunday. Soriano was a Rule 5 Draft pick by the Pirates in 2020, but he underwent a second Tommy John surgery that is expected to keep him out of action until 2023. If Soriano clears waivers, Pittsburgh must offer him back to the Angels.
• Outside of Rodriguez, the Angels expect all of their other players to be ready for the start of Spring Training. Several players who ended the season injured -- such as lefty Patrick Sandoval (back strain), right-hander Griffin Canning (back strain) and outfielder Jo Adell (abdominal strain) -- are all healthy and working out in Arizona.