Why the Angels are a threat to the Mariners
The Angels were the April and early May darlings of baseball, sitting at 21-11 and in first place in the AL West, but the rest of the season was a nightmare. They stumbled, rushed to fire their Hall of Fame caliber manager in Joe Madden, let a goon take over the roster, got their butts kicked by a guy the Seattle Mariners couldn’t stand, and fell so hard on their face that their generational talents are either hurt, depressed, or possibly looking at their next team in 2024. All of this shame had their owner on the verge of selling the team.
Fast forward to today and much of that drama has disappeared, and it is oddly quiet. Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout appear to be finally healthy, with Trout captaining Team USA in the WBC. Owner Arte Moreno has decided to keep the team, and has raised the Angels payroll to the highest in team history at $206 million.
They didn’t go out and sign overpriced superstars to help an aging core, but instead went out and got valuable, solid players to complement their stars. The bullpen potentially got a lot better after the Moore signing, and while the rotation was already pretty solid, Anderson as a #3 or #4 starter can make it a top 5 rotation in the AL. They could be a trade deadline arm away from becoming one of the best in baseball.
Too often we’d see games where Trout and Ohtani would each homer, but the Angels still lose by 4-5 runs. Can guys like Urshela, Renfroe and Drury bring enough stability to the lineup to make this team a wildcard contender? I think so.