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OC Register: Angels GM Perry Minasian still shopping for more arms after signing two pitchers

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Barely two weeks into the open free -portion of the offseason, the Angels have invested $28.5 million of their 2022 payroll on two pitchers.

A day after inking lefty reliever Aaron Loup to a two-year, $17-million deal, including $7.5 million next year, Angels general manager Perry Minasian repeated that he knows there is still plenty of room to improve the pitching staff.

“We’re definitely pursuing other arms,” Minasian said. “We feel like there’s ways to improve both from an impactful standpoint and depth standpoint. That’s a given. That’s every day, basically all day.”

The Angels previously signed Noah Syndergaard for the rotation, giving him $21 million. They are gambling on his upside, despite the fact he has only pitched two innings in the past two seasons.

Syndergaard and Loup fill two spots, but the Angels likely need at least one more starter to join Syndergaard, Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez.

The most impactful arms available include Max Scherzer, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Rodon and Kevin Gausman. Steven Matz, who is a notch below that group, is reportedly close to signing, and the Angels are reportedly one of the teams that has made an offer.

Whether the Angels are able to afford any of the top starters depends how high owner Arte Moreno is willing to push the payroll. Minasian has repeatedly declined to say whether the payroll will increase from the roughly $180 million the Angels spent in 2021. Including the Syndergaard and Loup deals, the Angels are currently at about $160 million for 2022.

“We have an ownership group that wants to compete and wants to win, so I would not rule anything out,” Minasian said.

The Angels also likely need a closer. Raisel Iglesias remains a free agent after he declined the Angels’ qualifying offer last week. The top reliever on the free-agent market, Iglesias is likely to earn something around $12 million to $15 million in 2022 as part of a three- or four-year deal.

Minasian said the Angels would still like to re-sign Iglesias, and the Loup deal “does not preclude us from Raisel by any means.”

Loup was arguably the second-best reliever on the market, coming off a season in which he posted an 0.95 ERA with the New York Mets.

Minasian said Loup was not signed to be a closer, although he didn’t rule it out.

“He’ll pitch in the sixth; he’ll pitch in the eighth; he’ll pitch in the third,” Minasian said. “I think it gives Joe (Maddon) the ability to use a really productive piece in big moments in games.”

The Angels also added versatile Tyler Wade on Monday in a deal with the New York Yankees. Wade plays six positions – everything but first base and catcher – and the position he’s played the most is shortstop.

Minasian said it’s too early to say if Wade would be in the mix for an everyday opportunity at shortstop.

For now, he’ll just report to spring training and try to make the team. He’s out of options.

“It’s a different skillset that we don’t necessarily have,” Minasian said. “It’s legit speed. I think there are base-stealers and there are guys who can steal that base in the eighth and ninth inning when everybody in the park knows they are running. He’s got the ability to do that.”

In off the field news, Minasian said the Angels will have some announcements about the coaching staff in the “very, very near future.” The Angels need to replace their first- and third-base coaches and catching coach.

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