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Cahill lands 1-year deal with Angels

December 20, 2018

ANAHEIM -- The Angels continued building their rotation Thursday, as they agreed to terms with right-hander starter Trevor Cahill on a one-year deal. The contract is worth $9 million plus $1.5 million in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.Los Angeles agreed to terms with fellow right-hander Matt Harvey

ANAHEIM -- The Angels continued building their rotation Thursday, as they agreed to terms with right-hander starter Trevor Cahill on a one-year deal. The contract is worth $9 million plus $1.5 million in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
Los Angeles agreed to terms with fellow right-hander Matt Harvey on Tuesday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, as it focuses on a rotation largely seen as the club's biggest weakness. The Angels dealt with injuries last year, seeing 16 pitchers start a game for them -- the second-highest total in baseball behind Tampa Bay -- while finishing fourth in the American League West in 2018. This week's series of moves forms a rotation of Harvey, Cahill, Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs, with a mix of Jaime Barria, Nick Tropeano, Felix Pena, and Dillon Peters all competing for the back-end spot until JC Ramirez returns from Tommy John surgery. Barria, after a solid rookie season, is the front-runner for that spot.

Adding starting pitching depth has been a priority for the Angels this offseason since they won't be able to lean on two-way star Shohei Ohtani as a pitcher, as he underwent Tommy John surgery, which will limit him to serving as designated hitter in 2019.
Cahill, 30, is coming off one of his best Major League seasons in Oakland. Though his career has been marked by constant injuries and back-and-forth trips between rotations and bullpens, the right-hander was effective over 110 innings for the A's, compiling a 3.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP and finishing as one of just five starters (minimum 100 innings) with a ground-ball rate of at least 50 percent and a strikeout rate above 20 percent.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler said at the Winter Meetings he's looking for pitchers with high strikeout and high ground-ball rates, and Cahill fits that bill. He struck out 100, walked 41 and allowed just eight homers in 110 innings.

Cahill, though, reached 100 innings for the first time since 2014 and hasn't reached 200 innings since 2012. But he's been faring better since being converted back to a starter with the Padres during the '17 season with a 4.10 ERA in 34 starts since then.
In his deal with the Angels, Cahill can earn $1.5 million in incentives based on innings pitched, a source told Feinsand ($250,000 for 100, 110, 120 and 130 innings and $500,000 at 170 innings).
Cahill, a Southern California native who attended Vista High School near San Diego, has a career 4.08 ERA in parts of 10 seasons in the Majors with the A's, D-backs, Braves, Cubs, Padres and Royals. He's familiar with the AL West, playing with the A's from 2009-11 and again in '18.

The Angels are searching for their first AL West title since 2014, and there is a growing sense of urgency for Los Angeles to field a competitive team before superstar center fielder Michael Trout reaches the free-agent market after the 2020 season.
They're still in the market for relief help and a veteran catcher. They've been active in trying to add to the roster, making strong offers to free-agent pitchers such as Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ and Nathan Eovaldi, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos, only to see them sign elsewhere.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.