Even after adding Noah Syndergaard, the Angels are still looking to further supplement their pitching staff. In recent days, they’ve been connected in rumors to Steven Matz, before he became a Cardinal, as well as Kevin Gausman, Max Scherzer and Marcus Stroman. But Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that Robbie Ray “remains atop their wish list.”
As Rosenthal notes, the Angels’ budget is a big unanswered question surrounding all of this. He lists their 2022 payroll as around $157MM. Adding someone like Ray would likely add more than $25MM to that total. (MLBTR predicted Ray would get a contract of $130MM over five years, an average annual value of $26MM.) That alone would put the Angels above their 2021 opening day payroll of $182MM, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, with still other roster issues to address. A budget increase would likely be required in order to facilitate a plan involving a contract of that size.
Another question is whether the Angels will deviate from their longstanding avoidance of committing to free agent starting pitchers. As recently explored by MLBTR’s Steve Adams, the Angels haven’t given a starting pitcher a contract longer than a single year since signing Joe Blanton way back in 2012. Ray, who recently turned 30 and won the AL Cy Young Award, would certainly require the Angels to wade into territory they haven’t been in for quite some time.
Another potential target is Jon Gray, as Rosenthal notes the Angels “had interest in Gray at the deadline.” Signing Gray would likely add less to the 2022 payroll than Ray, but probably still require the club to lay out a multi-year deal. MLBTR predicted Gray to get a contract of $56MM over four years, an AAV of $14MM.
More from the AL West…
- Even after yesterday’s Adam Frazier trade, the Mariners could still add to their position player mix, with Kris Bryant apparently piquing their interest, per Robert Murray of FanSided. With Kyle Seager now a free agent, Seattle figures to have a new third baseman for the first time in quite a while. Bryant’s bat would certainly be welcome in a Seattle lineup that ranked 22nd in runs scored in 2021. Aside from the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Bryant has had a wRC+ of at least 123 in each season of his career. In 2021, he hit 25 home runs and slashed .265/.353/.481, producing 3.6 fWAR in the process. However, Seattle may have to be patient with their interest in Bryant, as Murray relays that he’s not expected to sign before the transaction freeze that is reportedly going to be implemented after the CBA expires on Wednesday.
- It is widely expected that the expiration of the current CBA on December 1 will lead to a transaction freeze, which has teams and agents scrambling to get business done before then. One thing getting pushed to the backburner is managerial hirings, as Ken Rosenthal reports that teams will still be able to hire managers and coaches during a lockout. (Same link as above.) That means that the two clubs currently without managers, the Mets and Athletics, will likely wait until next week to get serious about searching for new skippers.