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If you read my mega-post here, I came to the conclusion that 90% of the last ten World Series champions had two things in common, in terms of their starting rotation: a #2 or better starter, and at least three good #3s.

The Angels as currently configured have three or four pitchers who could or should be #3s in Bundy, Heaney, Canning, and Ohtani, and one or two of them could even jump to being a #2, although odds seem to be against it (especially if we take into account innings pitched; i.e. Ohtani).

Bauer is the obvious choice to instantly transform the rotation from "maybe kinda okish" to "good enough" win it all. He's a legit #1, and gives the Angels that #2 or better that they so desperately need. No other free agent fits that category, which means that if the Angels front office has come to the same conclusion as I have--that they need a #2 or better to be good enough to win it all--then they're looking at options, and the only option other than Bauer for a legit #1-2 is via trade.

But who is there? What do you think?

Among free agents in 2021-22, there's Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer, and Greinke - quite a Who's Who of Cy Young winners and future Hall of Famers. But Verlander just had TJS so probably won't be able to pitch, unless he makes it back by the trade deadline. Greinke is a bit of a rent-a-ace and still good, but going to be 37 years old. Kershaw is a Dodgers institution and they're unlikely to trade him. 

Which leaves us with Max Scherzer, who has arguably been the best pitcher in the major leagues from 2013 to the present. But the problem is two-fold: He's owed almost $35 million in 2021 and he's going to be 36 years old. He also had his worst ERA since 2012, largely due to increased HR and walk rates, although his K rate was normal. Is he worth creating a package for? The Nationals, with a 26-34 record just like the Angels, might be willing to unload him for a package of prospects. They'd be happy to take Brandon Marsh to replace Adam Eaton, who has a team option for $10.5M, is 32 and injury prone and coming off a poor year. Or they might want to unload Corbin, who is coming off a down year and still owed almost $100 million over the next four. Would a package of Marsh, Barria, Knowles, and someone like Jeremiah Jackson be enough for either?

Anyone else? 

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1 hour ago, Angelsjunky said:

If you read my mega-post here, I came to the conclusion that 90% of the last ten World Series champions had two things in common, in terms of their starting rotation: a #2 or better starter, and at least three good #3s.

The Angels as currently configured have three or four pitchers who could or should be #3s in Bundy, Heaney, Canning, and Ohtani, and one or two of them could even jump to being a #2, although odds seem to be against it (especially if we take into account innings pitched; i.e. Ohtani).

Bauer is the obvious choice to instantly transform the rotation from "maybe kinda okish" to "good enough" win it all. He's a legit #1, and gives the Angels that #2 or better that they so desperately need. No other free agent fits that category, which means that if the Angels front office has come to the same conclusion as I have--that they need a #2 or better to be good enough to win it all--then they're looking at options, and the only option other than Bauer for a legit #1-2 is via trade.

But who is there? What do you think?

Among free agents in 2021-22, there's Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer, and Greinke - quite a Who's Who of Cy Young winners and future Hall of Famers. But Verlander just had TJS so probably won't be able to pitch, unless he makes it back by the trade deadline. Greinke is a bit of a rent-a-ace and still good, but going to be 37 years old. Kershaw is a Dodgers institution and they're unlikely to trade him. 

Which leaves us with Max Scherzer, who has arguably been the best pitcher in the major leagues from 2013 to the present. But the problem is two-fold: He's owed almost $35 million in 2021 and he's going to be 36 years old. He also had his worst ERA since 2012, largely due to increased HR and walk rates, although his K rate was normal. Is he worth creating a package for? The Nationals, with a 26-34 record just like the Angels, might be willing to unload him for a package of prospects. They'd be happy to take Brandon Marsh to replace Adam Eaton, who has a team option for $10.5M, is 32 and injury prone and coming off a poor year. Or they might want to unload Corbin, who is coming off a down year and still owed almost $100 million over the next four. Would a package of Marsh, Barria, Knowles, and someone like Jeremiah Jackson be enough for either?

Anyone else? 

How do you define a #1 pitcher, a #2 pitcher, a #3 pitcher, a #4 and #5 pitcher?

You have Heaney and Canning as 3's and Barria has better career ERA's than both.

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1 minute ago, stormngt said:

How do you define a #1 pitcher, a #2 pitcher, a #3 pitcher, a #4 and #5 pitcher?

You have Heaney and Canning as 3's and Barria has better career ERA's than both.

See other thread. Barria doesn't have the track record, at least compared to Heaney, and his peripherals are worse. I actually see ERA as more important for starters than WAR, but WAR still matters. If Barria consistently pitches like he has this year over a full season, I think a #3 is justifiable. But I expect his ERA to go up over 4.00. Hope I'm wrong.

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If the Red Sox would eat most of the salary, Chris Sale. A big question mark health wise, but he's 31 and has ace upside. Noah Syndergaard is another who just had Tommy John and is younger. This also might sound ridiculous since we could have just signed him last year, but if the Blue Jays are out of the playoffs quick, maybe a trade for Ryu.

If we sign Bauer, Corey Kluber might be worth a look as a high risk/high reward #2 starter if he's non-tendered. The key is though to make someone like Kluber a supplementary signing, rather than the only pitching acquisition of the offseason like Eppler did with his dumpster diving with guys like Trevor Cahill and Matt Harvey. Then if Kluber shits the bed, you still signed Bauer.

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6 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

If you read my mega-post here, I came to the conclusion that 90% of the last ten World Series champions had two things in common, in terms of their starting rotation: a #2 or better starter, and at least three good #3s.

The Angels as currently configured have three or four pitchers who could or should be #3s in Bundy, Heaney, Canning, and Ohtani, and one or two of them could even jump to being a #2, although odds seem to be against it (especially if we take into account innings pitched; i.e. Ohtani).

Bauer is the obvious choice to instantly transform the rotation from "maybe kinda okish" to "good enough" win it all. He's a legit #1, and gives the Angels that #2 or better that they so desperately need. No other free agent fits that category, which means that if the Angels front office has come to the same conclusion as I have--that they need a #2 or better to be good enough to win it all--then they're looking at options, and the only option other than Bauer for a legit #1-2 is via trade.

But who is there? What do you think?

Among free agents in 2021-22, there's Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer, and Greinke - quite a Who's Who of Cy Young winners and future Hall of Famers. But Verlander just had TJS so probably won't be able to pitch, unless he makes it back by the trade deadline. Greinke is a bit of a rent-a-ace and still good, but going to be 37 years old. Kershaw is a Dodgers institution and they're unlikely to trade him. 

Which leaves us with Max Scherzer, who has arguably been the best pitcher in the major leagues from 2013 to the present. But the problem is two-fold: He's owed almost $35 million in 2021 and he's going to be 36 years old. He also had his worst ERA since 2012, largely due to increased HR and walk rates, although his K rate was normal. Is he worth creating a package for? The Nationals, with a 26-34 record just like the Angels, might be willing to unload him for a package of prospects. They'd be happy to take Brandon Marsh to replace Adam Eaton, who has a team option for $10.5M, is 32 and injury prone and coming off a poor year. Or they might want to unload Corbin, who is coming off a down year and still owed almost $100 million over the next four. Would a package of Marsh, Barria, Knowles, and someone like Jeremiah Jackson be enough for either?

Anyone else? 

This is why I am a proponent of using Adell in a "mega prospect trade" to secure a top SP prospect - there simply aren't many "aces" available, and the best strategy would be to trade for someone with SP2 potential who, if we get lucky, can maybe even elevate to SP1.  Hence, I'd try to trade him to Detroit for one of Mize/Manning, or if not Detroit, then Cleveland, who has a ton of pitching but no OF prospects to speak of.

Of course, the easiest route would be to just back up the truck for Bauer.  Bauer nicely fills the "ace" role and Bundy can be an SP2/SP3 type.  Ohtani has SP1 upside, but we simply can't count on him at this time - any production from him should be considered a pleasant surprise.

But anyway, if I were to construct my offseason plan, I'd do this:

1.  Sign Bauer

2.  Trade Adell + lower level minor leaguer for either Mize or Manning

3.  Have Ohtani play some reps and learn to play RF, with the intent of having him serve as a 4th OF of sorts

4.  Sign Brad Miller (1/3?), with the intent of having him fill out the bench.  Notably, he can play 2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF.  Here's a link to his Fangraphs page:  https://www.fangraphs.com/players/brad-miller/12775/stats?position=SS

Lineup:  SS Fletcher, 1B Walsh, CF Trout, 3B Rendon, DH Ohtani, LF Upton, RF Ward (and later, Marsh), C Stassi, 2B Rengifo (or Miller)

Bench:  1B Pujols, C Bemboom, IF/OF Barreto, IF/OF Miller

Rotation:  Bauer, Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, Ohtani* to start.  Manning/Mize will be "next man up" and likely be SP3 by mid-season.  Suarez would be depth after that, along with Detmers by season's end

Bullpen:  Mayers, Pena, Buttrey, Andriese, Ramirez, Bedrosian, Barnes, Sandoval, Quijada, etc.  Sandoval is the key here - I like his SP potential, but he's been a super effective reliever, and given our need for LH relievers, he'd be a key addition.  This is where strengthening our SP staff (Bauer, Manning/Mize) also helps strength our bullpen, as we'd gain a legitimate BP weapon in Sandoval.

So, TL;DR - by doing the above, we'd gain a legitimate ace (Bauer), possibly acquire another (Manning/Mize have that potential), and if health permits, maybe gain another (Ohtani).

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IMO, I don't think Bauer is a sure thing.  To the point that I think it's all smoke and mirrors.  He had a career year, that is far above his norm in a contract season.  If I were the Angels, I would stay clear of him at all costs.  

Per FA's, I don't think there is a legit ace on the market.  So you would have to go the trade route, which will cost the likes of Adell or Marsh at minimum.   

Again, IMO, our offense is pretty meaty.  2B would be an upgrade, and the FA market has a few.  This could put us in the top 5 in the MLB in runs scored.  

Which then goes back to the dreaded 2002.  Maybe the route isn't to find an ace, but to find some good enough pitchers?  Taijan Walker?  Had TJ that wiped out 2018 and 2019.  Came back fairly strong in 2020.  Shouldn't be an outrageous salary.  

In any case, going back to dreaded 2002.  Relievers.  There are plenty of good relief arms out there in FA'cy.  And the good thing about relievers is length of term is usually short and cheaper.  And sometimes older is better.  

If we get a good relief corp, that would mean with the hitting, 2/3 could be dominant.  Just the cost to make the starting pitching upper tier would be prohibitive, but getting them to be average might not be.

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We need to stop with this FA savior thing year after year after year after year....and start developing our own players.  Overpaid and most prime years (if not all) gone.  Identify and draft / Int'l sign players -- and develop them properly.  We will then either have our own or at least have guys we can use as trades to acquire a SP in his prime (mainly the former).  Stop chasing the rabbit -- be the rabbit! 

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32 minutes ago, Fourts said:

We need to stop with this FA savior thing year after year after year after year....and start developing our own players.  Overpaid and most prime years (if not all) gone.  Identify and draft / Int'l sign players -- and develop them properly.  We will then either have our own or at least have guys we can use as trades to acquire a SP in his prime (mainly the former).  Stop chasing the rabbit -- be the rabbit! 

Ideally, teams are built on both - a mix of their own homegrown youth, along with some key FA signings.

We did see our youth grow this year - Walsh, Ward, Barria, Canning, etc.  A lot of positive developments this year as the season wore on, and in truth, our future planning will take that growth into consideration, as we now (optimistically) hope that our 1B hole will be filled by Walsh, utility spot by Ward, backend of the rotation by Barria/Canning (and maybe Sandoval), etc.

That said, we do not have a homegrown "ace" pitcher on the horizon, which is why Bauer is key.  Look at the Yankees - they have a good amount of homegrown talent, but they just gave Cole the biggest pitching contract in MLB history.

We need an ace, and we do not have any internal options, so we must spend on one.  The rest of our holes can be filled internally or with low-risk type signings, IMO.

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1 hour ago, Fourts said:

We need to stop with this FA savior thing year after year after year after year....and start developing our own players.  Overpaid and most prime years (if not all) gone.  Identify and draft / Int'l sign players -- and develop them properly.  We will then either have our own or at least have guys we can use as trades to acquire a SP in his prime (mainly the former).  Stop chasing the rabbit -- be the rabbit! 

So in other words.  Trade Mike Trout, because we aren't going to do shit for another 5+ years.  

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1 hour ago, Warfarin said:

Ideally, teams are built on both - a mix of their own homegrown youth, along with some key FA signings.

The general pattern of many, even most, successful teams--and by that, I mean almost always contenders, and rarely more than a year or two out from contention--is to build the core from within, and then augment with key free agent signings and trades. 

I'm not a martial artist or fighter, but I know the importance of a strong core - a center of strength, with in Japanese is called the hara. I think a strong farm is kind of like that. If you don't have a strong core/hara/farm, you can still find ways to win, but you're always off-balance and top-heavy.

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I think you go after Bauer but feel he will go to some team who is in contention every year. Dodgers or Yankees would be front runners. Will need a plan B and C for sure. Many names will be out there most with red flags. Getting a GM in soon I think would help because a lot of work needs to be done. Carpino said it may not be till Thanksgiving. Need to figure out payroll soon know what you can spend. Team right now in total disarray. Many questions need to be answered if they can contend next year. 

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27 minutes ago, Angels 1961 said:

I think you go after Bauer but feel he will go to some team who is in contention every year. Dodgers or Yankees would be front runners. Will need a plan B and C for sure. Many names will be out there most with red flags. Getting a GM in soon I think would help because a lot of work needs to be done. Carpino said it may not be till Thanksgiving. Need to figure out payroll soon know what you can spend. Team right now in total disarray. Many questions need to be answered if they can contend next year. 

He is not going to the Yankees.  He and Cole literally hate each other.  He can find similar money elsewhere with an equal chance to win.

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2 minutes ago, Stradling said:

They don’t hate each other?  Why did I think they did?  Didn’t they talk a ton of shit to each other when Bauer was accusing the Astros pitchers of cheating?  

He talked shit about the team. Bauer didn't like Cole in college, but he's moved on. 

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