Who the Angels Missed Out on?
The Angels have been linked to numerous talented free agents this offseason. With that being said, they haven’t been able to land any of the top-level free agents. The Angels stuck out at the Winter Meetings when missing out on Patrick Corbin, Nathan Eovaldi and J.A Happ. General Manager, Billy Eppler has been vocal this offseason saying “We could kick a field goal if we wanted to, but let’s go for a touchdown.”
The Angels brought in former All-Star from the New York Mets, Matt Harvey. Harvey has been one of the more dominating figures on the mound when he’s at his best. Although, he hasn’t quite been the pitcher he once was in his early years with the Mets. Harvey once finished fourth in the Cy Young award in 2013, but then missed all of 2014 with Tommy John Surgery. He was recently traded last season to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Catcher, Devin Mesoraco.
The Angels are putting a lot of stock in Harvey to bounce back to his old form. Harvey inked a deal with the Angels worth $11 million over one-year, with an additional $3 million in incentives. Harvey’s ERA the last two seasons has been elevated compared to his immediate success when he broke into the league. Although, he did show some promise towards the end of last season with his stint with the Reds. With Cincinnati, he improved his velocity and was more efficient getting batters out.
Trevor Cahill was brought in to help eat innings for the starting pitching. The Angels starting pitchers had issues last season going deep into games. Cahill is a versatile arm, where he is also capable of throwing out of the bullpen where he’s done so in the past.
Cahill signed a one-year deal worth $9 million with the possibility of earning $1.5 million in incentives. Cahill served as a starter for the Oakland Athletics where he went 7-4 through 20 starts with a 3.76 ERA and 100 strikeouts. His role with the Angels will be to take the mound every fifth day and help bolster the bottom part of the starting rotation. Cahill has been in the league for nine years and his veteran presence should help the young starters throughout the season.
Justin Bour was brought on by the Angels when they finalized a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Bour gives the Angels a quality left-handed power bat that has the capability of leaving the yard. He’s had three seasons of 20 or more home runs during his time with the Miami Marlins.
Bour gives the Angels depth at first base, which they desperately needed. With Pujols coming off of surgery on his left knee, Bour should see extended playing time at first base. Once Shohei Ohtani returns from injury there will be three bats for two spots. Bour, Pujols and Ohtani will all platoon between the two spots of playing first base and serving as the designated hitter.
Jonathan Lucroy signed a deal with the Angels worth $3.3 million over one-year. Lucroy spent last season behind the plate for the Oakland Athletics where he batted 241. It was a down year offensively for Lucroy, but his pitching framing from a defensive standpoint is one of the best in baseball. He’s just two years removed from his all-star season in 2016, where he hit 292, 24 home runs and 81 RBIs. He has appeared in two All-Star games throughout his career, while being a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Lucroy brings a veteran leadership to the club and someone who can take control of the pitching staff. Last season with the A’s, Lucroy was behind the plate, calling pitches for Sean Manaea’s no-hitter. He also, threw out more base stealers than anyone in the American League last season with 31 caught runners. His bat will be a bonus for the club, as his primary goal will be to take control of the pitching staff and prevent base runners from stealing. He will slot in near the middle to bottom half of the Angels lineup this upcoming season.
(Top Photo courtesy of Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images )