The Los Angeles Angels know that, if they are going to contend, they will need to fix the rotation. They have already taken the first move in that direction.
As first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Angels signed Tyler Anderson to head down I-5. Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted that Anderson will receive a three year deal at approximately $40 million.
Tyler Anderson cashes in with Los Angeles Angels
Anderson had been a respectable back of the rotation starter before signing with the Dodgers prior to the 2022 season. He had initially been inked as a long reliever/spot starter, a depth option if needed. Instead, he had a breakout campaign, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.002 WHiP over his 178.2 innings, striking out 138 batters with just 34 walks. He held opponents to a .221/.267/.350 batting line over 707 plate appearances, a level that he had not been at before.
The Angels are now taking a significant gamble that Anderson can continue that performance. It is possible that the Dodgers were able to unlock something with him as he increased the usage of his changeup while moving away from his sinker. As his changeup had a 20.5% whiff rate compared to a 3.98% whiff rate for his sinker last year, it is possible that the adjustment holds.
But this is still a significant gamble. The Angels need another top of the rotation caliber starter to pair with Shohei Ohtani. Jose Suarez and Patrick Sandoval took steps forward last year and look like solid middle of the rotation arms. Anderson should improve the rotation, but it is fair to wonder how much.
That will ultimately depend on whether or not these adjustments continue to make that much of a difference. If Anderson can continue to ride his fastball/changeup/cutter mix to generate weak contact and a solid amount of grounders, he could end up being a tremendous bargain. However, the Angels are still banking on one excellent season.
The Los Angeles Angels have made a move to shore up their rotation. Tyler Anderson is a bit of a gamble, but he could be a bargain as well.