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OC Register: Angels reportedly pursued Patrick Corbin, Nate Eovaldi before they signed elsewhere


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LAS VEGAS — Although the Angels have been unable to land any significant pitching help this winter, they were reportedly chasing two of the winter’s biggest prizes before they went elsewhere.

The Angels were one of four finalists for Nate Eovaldi before he re-signed with the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, according to NBC Sports Boston.

The Angels also quietly pursued Patrick Corbin, who ended up signing with the Washington Nationals, according to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were both public in their pursuit of Corbin, who is a native of upstate New York.

Both of those players came off the board a week after the Angels came up just short in trying to bring back Garrett Richards, who signed with the San Diego Padres.

General Manager Billy Eppler, who wouldn’t refer to any deals specifically, said he’s not upset with the way the offseason has gone so far.

“I hold no frustrations at this time,” he said.

Eppler added that the Angels assign a value to all potential acquisitions, and will make deals when the cost matches the value.

“We’re comfortable with our positions on things,” he said. “If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Corbin signed a six-year, $140-million deal, and Eovaldi for four years and $68 million. If the Angels were in the neighborhood on those deals, it would suggest they have the resources to make significant additions.

The Angels are also involved with Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, according to a source. The level of their involvement is unknown, though. The Angels have presumably checked in on almost all the prominent starting pitchers available.

While those close calls all involved free agents, Eppler said Monday that the first day of the winter meetings involved more trade discussions.

Eppler, who likes using football analogies when describing the Angels’ process toward moves, said: “We could kick a field goal if we wanted to, but let’s go for a touchdown.”

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We're in good hands. One thing I feel so much better about Eppler than Dipoto is that he won't make a panic trade or signing. If he can't sign the players he wants he'll bargain hunt and continue focusing on building from within. Dipoto (and Arte) damaged this franchise through panic moves, most notable Vernon Wells, as well as overpays (Pujols, Hamilton, etc). Eppler seems able to hold back from such impetuousness. 

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9 hours ago, gurn67 said:

There will be bargains in January. 

Trout is so excited to hear we’re going bargain hunting again 

im not saying big name free agents are the way but we’re gonna have to spend a little to even compete for a wild card spot. This current roster is not a contender 

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17 minutes ago, nando714 said:

Trout is so excited to hear we’re going bargain hunting again 

im not saying big name free agents are the way but we’re gonna have to spend a little to even compete for a wild card spot. This current roster is not a contender 

If winning is Trout's top priority, wouldn't he be more interested in signing with a team that's building to compete in 2021 and beyond?

If the Angels torpedo their farm or payroll in an effort to win in 2019 and 2020, wouldn't it hurt their chances of remaining competitive during Trout's next contract?

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6 minutes ago, totdprods said:

If winning is Trout's top priority, wouldn't he be more interested in signing with a team that's building to compete in 2021 and beyond?

Umm no, he would want to win now, rather than burn two more years of his career playing on a non-contender. 

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

Umm no, he would want to win now, rather than burn two more years of his career playing on a non-contender. 

But in two years he can sign with any contender he wants and then spend the next 8-10 years trying to win with that team. 

If the Angels do such harm to their payroll or farm in an effort to win in the next two years, is it worth it if it hurts our chances at re-signing him?

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Just now, totdprods said:

But in two years he can sign with any contender he wants and then spend the next 8-10 years trying to win with that team. 

If the Angels do such harm to their payroll or farm in an effort to win in the next two years, is it worth it if it hurts our chances at re-signing him?

he wont be here if we continue to have seasons like we had last year and the year before. imo the sooner we win the better our chances to keep him. 

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14 minutes ago, Jay said:

I don't agree that winning now would hurt our chances of re-signing Trout in two years. The idea that Trout is ok with losing in order to protect the farm has no basis in reality. It's just a figment of AW imagination.

What's to say they can't compete with what they have internally and a few minor upgrades? Injuries and lack of depth is what has hurt us.

13 minutes ago, nando714 said:

he wont be here if we continue to have seasons like we had last year and the year before. imo the sooner we win the better our chances to keep him. 

Both primarily because of numerous injuries. 

Just saying, the Angels don't need to add a Realmuto, or Bauer, or Machado to have a shot at winning. 

Our offseason could consist of Tanner Roark, Anibal Sanchez, Adam Warren, Francisco Cervelli, and Jose Martinez and we'd be in pretty good shape still, without any real impact on our 2020+ aspirations.

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51 minutes ago, Jay said:

I don't agree that winning now would hurt our chances of re-signing Trout in two years. The idea that Trout is ok with losing in order to protect the farm has no basis in reality. It's just a figment of AW imagination.

To be fair -- any statement that pretends it knows what Trout is thinking beyond his wanting to win is a figment of AW imagination.

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So....  reading The Athletic and various other outlets commenting/quoting on the players union and MLB GM's POV/opinions of the direction baseball is heading in general -- there seems to be a feeling that baseball is all about trying to get younger and phase out older veteran players.  Essentially the argument is that that there is money for the star guys and money for the young guys but there is a shift away from paying 20 mil for a 32 year old 3-4 war player in favor of paying a fraction of that to youngsters capable of putting up a 2-2.5 War seasons.   Again, so that more money can be funneled towards the true stars and young players worth keeping...

If keeping Trout long term the priority it's probably not the best move to dump too much money into those middling veteran types -- they doesn't mean you don't try to win now, but the team needs to retain payroll flexibility moving forward..   Granted, AP finally going away in 2021 goes a long ways towards allowing for more flexibility.

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It makes sense, both of those guys signed for crazy money.  I would have loved Corbin, but 6/140 is a pretty large contract for a pitcher, especially in modern MLB where so many pitchers get injured.

Eovaldi already carries with him tons of injury history and got a big premium because of his performance in the playoffs.

Both were good for the Angels to pass on, if that is indeed what happened.

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As baseball evolves... so does its fan base.  Fans now care more than ever about the size and lengths of contracts.  It's kind of interesting to what has happened over the years.  I think most are fine with the Angels passing on Corbin and Eovaldi at those prices.

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6 minutes ago, Sully151 said:

Ok, so nobody is talking about the elephant in the room. Richards turned down not one, but TWO serious offers from the Angels. We got outbid by the Padres.

He got what, $18m from them? It did not make sense paying him potentially 1/3 of our offseason budget on an arm that wouldn't pitch this year.

If it had been Eovaldi's 2/$4 or Pineda's 2/$10m TJS deal, maybe, but not at that rate.

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13 minutes ago, totdprods said:

He got what, $18m from them? It did not make sense paying him potentially 1/3 of our offseason budget on an arm that wouldn't pitch this year.

If it had been Eovaldi's 2/$4 or Pineda's 2/$10m TJS deal, maybe, but not at that rate.

I totally agree. It’s crazy. I think it was a guaranteed 15 million over 2 years.

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