Monday, November 29, 2021

Angels are exploring the free trade market in an effort to create more “aggressive” personnel.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at MLB general manager meetings, the main topic of conversation around Angels head coach Perry Minasyan reflected his club’s main focus on this offseason.

Pitching, pitching, pitching.

For most of his 45-minute availability, Minasyan answered job question after job while standing on the edge of the Karlovy Vary Omni Resort courtyard after what he called a “productive day” of meetings with other league leaders.

Although he stopped naming any goals specifically – either through a free agency or through a trade market – Minasyan clarified the type of attributes he hopes the Angels rocking staff will have in 2022, using one adjective in particular to summarize what they are. looking for.

“We just would like to be a little more aggressive – I think“ aggressive ”is the right word,” Minasyan said. “Some pitchers are setting the tone, and I think there is a seepage effect. I think we lacked in this area. “

And as the offseason begins, Minasyan thinks the Angels will have several ways to add it.

Of course, there is a free agency that this year includes a large number of starter pitchers that can complement the Angels rotation, which currently only features Shohei Otani, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez.

American League runner-up Cy Young Robbie Rae and former Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez were the two names associated with the club on Tuesday’s MLB Network report. But there are many others that could be options for the Angels, from potential future Hall of Famers like Max Scherser, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander to younger players including Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, John Gray and Carlos Rawdon.

“It is difficult to find a way out to the front line,” Minasyan said. “That being said, we would like to significantly improve our rotation … We would definitely like to find a hand or two that can affect the rotation.”

Minasyan said the Angels started prioritizing their free agent goals, but were unable to propose the exact number of new pitchers they want to add.

He did say that he is not opposed to harassing players whose former clubs have extended qualifying offers, and whose signings would thus require the Angels to withdraw from the draft as compensation (Ray and Rodriguez are two such candidates).

Minasyan believes that the franchise will also be able to provide a compelling case for free agents.

“We love what we have to offer, from the point of view of the team, from the point of view of the club … I think Southern California is as attractive as any other place in the country,” Minasyan said. “I hope that many of these free agents, especially weapons, are their favorite color.”

Minasyan continued to leave open the opportunity to explore the trading market, where the Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics and Miami Marlins were rumored to be potential trading partners for teams seeking major league pitching assistance.

“If this is a deal in which we have to give up something, obviously, we have to weigh it,” Minasyan said. “But the trading market is definitely an area in which we will be looking to see if we can do something new.”

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez throws the ball against the Houston Astros during the first half of the third ALCS game on October 18 in Boston.

(David J. Phillip / Associated Press) #

Minasyan said the bullpen is another place where the Angels will try to acquire new items, as well as redouble the team’s interest in the return of Raisel Iglesias. While he highlighted the potential of some of the younger internal employees such as Jose Quihada, Andrew Vanz, Austin Warren and Oliver Ortega, he also noted, “We would like to add. It’s never enough for you. “

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The task of bringing about such a radical transformation was not lost to Minasian, who acknowledged that the desired improvements on the mound would be a “daunting task” for the Angels.

Last year, their pitchers ranked 22nd in major areas on the ERA team, 25th in walks in nine innings, and 19th in average versus (although they were close to the league average on some extended metrics). , such as FIP, SIERA, or exceeded it in the number of victories per substitution). ).

“I think it is obvious that last year was not the way we wanted it to end, 77 victories,” Minasyan said. “But I think that in a year, in two years, we will look back and say, ‘Wow, this was an important season for a lot of hands, for people to get chances, for some of the guys ourselves on the map.” I hope it will come true. “

Nevertheless, as Minasyan knows as well as others, solving the long-standing problems with the Angels’ pitch by next season will almost certainly require a number of successful new products this winter as well.

“We are examining everything,” Minasyan said. “We talk to everyone and try to get a sense of the area to some extent and see what fits.”

Here are other Angels notes from GM’s Tuesday meetings:

  • Minasyan said the team will “carefully consider” a potential attempt to bring back free-agent pitcher Alex Cobb. The 34-year-old right-hander had a reconstructive, albeit shortened, injury campaign in 2021 after the Angels acquired him last offseason. “He clearly had a good year,” Minasyan said. “We know this person. He was a good guy at the club. “
  • When asked if the catcher Matt Theiss is ready to play in the Major Leagues or the Angels will explore outside opportunities in the reserve catcher, Minasyan said that the previous choice in the first round “is definitely an option for this, but we are open.” to other possibilities too. “This position always needs depth,” added Minasyan. “As with pitching, catching is never enough.” Taiss, 26, became a top 3 catcher again last season.
  • Minasyan said little about what the Angels squad might look like in 2022. He said it was “quite possible” that Joe Adell and Brandon Marsh could start outfielding next year. He also said that if David Fletcher and Luis Renguefo were the two starting fielders in the middle of next year, Fletcher could be shortstoped and Rengifo at second base. But he reiterated that such decisions would not be made until spring training.

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