Los Angeles Angels: Three free agents to target this offseason

LA Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LA Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Trevor Bauer
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

These three free agent targets would provide much-needed upgrades for the Los Angeles Angels.

After interviewing an endless number of candidates, the Los Angeles Angels finally filled their vacant general manager role by hiring Perry Minasian, a first-year GM who will have to get to work immediately on filling a number of roster holes in preparation for the 2021 season.

It’s been the same story for a long time in Los Angeles. Despite featuring a lineup with one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond, the Angels haven’t had a winning record since 2015, haven’t made the playoffs since 2014, and haven’t won a playoff series since 2009.

Will calls from Mike Trout to add more talent finally be answered? How aggressively will ownership allow Minasian to pursue some of the top free agents? We’ll find out for certain within a few weeks.

In the meantime, which current free agents should the Los Angeles Angels target this offseason? Here are three names worth pursuing.

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer

An already small list of starting pitching free agents has quickly become smaller over the last few days. Both Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman accepted qualifying offers, Robbie Ray is off to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Atlanta Braves quickly pounced on Drew Smyly, giving him $11 million for one year.

The most obvious statement of the offseason is the fact that the Los Angeles Angels need starting pitching help. Dylan Bundy had a fantastic first year with the Angels and appears to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm for LA, Griffin Canning is a young arm with noteworthy potential, and Andrew Heaney has emerged as a pretty decent option to round out the rotation.

But if the Angels want to finally compete and be taken seriously, they need to emerge from the large pack of suitors and land this year’s prized free agent, Trevor Bauer. It could be difficult to sway him away from the New York Mets or other likely suitors like the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, or even the San Diego Padres with AJ Preller’s “take no prisoners” approach to building a competitor, but the Angels have an opportunity to land Bauer if they really want to.

The Albert Pujols contract is coming off the books next year, meaning some financial relief in the immediate future. Perhaps, a short-term deal for Bauer would benefit the Angels who may be more hesitant to hand out a four or five-year deal well north of $100 million.

If the Angels aren’t able to land Bauer, they will have to rely on trying to find another Dylan Bundy-type success story from names like Jose Quintana, Mike Minor, Corey Kluber, or Chris Archer, to name a few. A trade for Lance Lynn could also be a possibility, but would Texas be willing to trade their ace to a divisional rival?

For the Los Angeles Angels, it’s Trevor Bauer or bust.