Prior to Shohei Ohtani signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, reports surfaced suggesting the LA Angels of Anaheim would remain in the hunt for premier starting pitching whether or not Ohtani was still in the cards for them.
And that's still the case after Ohtani signed a $700 million contract with the Dodgers. A number of names, such as Tyler Glasnow, Shane Bieber, Dylan Cease, Corbin Burnes and Alek Manoah were and are linked to the Angels.
As of Wednesday morning, the Dodgers may have gotten the best of them yet again, as there's a deal brewing between LA and Tampa for Glasnow. The least durable pitcher of the bunch? That leaves the Angels with room to focus on the other innings eaters.
Burnes might be off the block because the Milwaukee Brewers seem to be in a holding pattern, and reports have suggested the asking price for the right-hander is astronomical -- one the Angels definitely cannot afford because of their barren farm system.
But Bieber, Cease, Manoah and others seemingly remain in play. Also, what's stopping them from signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery? Now they have a ton of money to spend without the commitment to Ohtani.
This could directly impact the Dodgers' offseason because LA needs at least two of the aforementioned names. And Glasnow, while good, has never pitched more than 120 innings in a single MLB campaign.
Could Angels' aggression on pitching front hurt Dodgers on trade market?
"The Angels have scanned and engaged in discussions on multiple fronts over a wide variety of starting pitchers, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. That has included targets such as Cleveland Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes and Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow, among others."- Sam Blum, The Athletic
And here's what's been reported after the fact:
Not much has changed. The Angels, who apparently have no inclination to trade Mike Trout and will be paying Anthony Rendon $38.6 million per year through 2026, are in a tough spot. They're not contenders, but they're always making moves like they're trying to be. They reside in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. They haven't made the playoffs since 2014. They haven't had a winning record since then, either.
That smells like desperation. If they push hard for some top-end starters, perhaps that attracts other big-name position players? Rhys Hoskins, Joc Pederson, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cody Bellinger, Teoscar Hernandez, JD Martinez, Jorge Soler and others are still out there. It's not the best group of guys, but any combination of them would help improve the Angels' sad situation.
Or, you know, they could just swipe some of the starting pitchers and have them waste away in Anaheim like most talents have over the last decade. That'd be even more painful for the Dodgers to watch.