Astros, American League West Round Up Pre-Lockout

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Los Angeles Angels

New Additions

  • Aaron Loup – LHP
  • Raisel Iglesias – RHP
  • Noah Syndergaard – RHP
  • Michael Lorenzen – RHP
  • Tyler Wade (via trade with New York Yankees) – UTL

On paper, the Angels should be battling for the division each and every season. However, they have failed to make a playoff appearance since 2014. A mix of bad pitching and injuries to their top players, the universe never seems to line up for the Angels.

While the Angels certainly made some splashes early in the offseason, they still have a ways to go to compete with the Astros, or even the Mariners.

First the Angels had to keep the heart-and-soul of their bullpen, extending a four-year contract worth $58 million to Raisel Iglesias. That is a lot money for a reliever of any caliber, but the Angels can’t afford to step backwards on any front with so much committed to Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and soon to be Shohei Ohtani.

They also signed Aaron Loup, a 33-year-old, left-handed reliever. Loup was really solid for the Mets last season, sporting a 0.95 ERA through 56.2 innings. They have have the back end of the bullpen settled, at least.

The Angels have been wildly inconsistent with their starting pitching for some time. They took a risk on signing free agent starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who returned from Tommy John Surgery towards the end of last season.

They also brought in Michael Lorenzan, who also came back from a Tommy John Surgery of his own last season. Lorenzan has been featured primarily in a relief role and hasn’t been a regular starter since 2015. The Angels seem to be intent on stretching Lorenzan out as a starting pitcher.