Frustration has been settling in for the Los Angeles Angels the last few years. Mike Trout hasn’t got any playoff success, Albert Pujols has been wasting the last years of his career, and Shohei Ohtani hasn’t been healthy enough to be a two-way player.
The team’s long-term investment in Trout has been a concern, as he will likely ask for more money when he eventually becomes a free agent once again.
Things should turn around in 2021, as Trout is healthy after dealing with injury issues last season, and Ohtani has been cleared to pitch again. Anthony Rendon will also start his second season with the Angels, while the team brought in Dexter Fowler and Jose Iglesias on the trade market.
Pujols has since moved on to being a bench player, but he could be a motivating factor for the Angels in 2021 in what could be his final season.
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) February 11, 2021
The MLB free agency work the Angels put in this offseason will offer a bit of help. Whether the Angels will catch up to the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros in the AL West this season remains uncertain, but you can expect the Angels to be more competitive in 2021.
The Los Angeles Angels brought in starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the Chicago Cubs. The longtime veteran had been a regular starter for both the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs this past decade, but he has dealt with some injury and performance issues in the past few years.
Quintana hopes that a pitcher-friendly venue like Angel Stadium will be to his benefit. He will join a rotation that features Alex Cobb, Dylan Bundy, and potentially Shohei Ohtani.
The team brought in Alex Claudio from the Milwaukee Brewers to support its bullpen. Jose Alberto Rivera also joins the bullpen from Houston. They will play alongside new closer Raisel Iglesias, who came to the Angels off a trade with the Cincinnati Reds this offseason.
The Angels did not do much from an offensive standpoint surrounding the MLB free agency period. The team signed catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Washington Nationals to be a backed for Max Stassi. Outfielder Juan Lagares also joins the team from the New York Mets.
The offense is expected to focus mainly on bringing in some younger players from the minors. Top-rated outfield prospect Jo Adell will likely appear on the roster sometime this season, and fellow outfielder Brandon Marsh may join him. The two will likely start the season with the AAA Salt Lake Bees.
Departures From the Angels
A few players left the Angels on the MLB free agency market this offseason. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons left for the Minnesota Twins, while pitcher Matt Andriese is now with the Boston Red Sox. A few relief pitchers also left on the free agent market, with Justin Anderson and Kenyan Middleton respectively moving to the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners.
The team is expected to part ways with starting pitcher Julio Teheran. He went 0-4 last season with a 10.05 ERA. Ohtani’s potential return to the starting rotation facilitated the need for Teheran to look elsewhere for a new starting role.
What to Expect From the Angels
The Los Angeles Angels made a few moves in the MLB free agency period, but they didn’t do enough to make a substantial splash. But you can still expect some improvement from the Angels this season.
The team will be healthier this season, and they made a few substantial trade moves this offseason. The Angels will need to do better this season, even if it’s only to give Mike Trout a feeling that he’s in the right place before he eventually enters the free agency market himself.
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