It’s the beginning of the MLB offseason and many teams are already starting to gear up to improve for the 2024 season and Spring Training. One team that is getting a lot of buzz in the headlines lately is the Los Angeles Angels.
The mainstream news regarding the Angels concerns superstar player Shohei Ohtani who’s out on the market as a free agent and has been rumored to seriously be looking at the Los Angeles Dodgers as a potential destination.
LA Angels Pursuing Tim Anderson?
Aside from the Ohtani news, the Angels have been rumored to display a strong interest in the former Chicago White Sox shortstop who’s coming off a disappointing season, where he posted career lows in batting average (.245), on-base percentage (.286), slugging percentage (.296), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.582).
The two years prior to last season Anderson was a back-to-back All-Star selection in both 2021 and 2022, the 2020 Silver Slugger recipient, and the AL batting champion in 2019. Anderson had a decline in numbers in large part due to injuries, suffering a knee sprain (and a three-week injured list stint) that seemed to throw off Anderson from regaining his All-Star momentum of the previous seasons.
Anderson, 30, was bought out by the White Sox for $1 million after the White Sox declined his $14 million dollar club option and sent Anderson to the free agency pool for the first time in his career after 10 seasons with the club.
Tim Anderson Moving To Second Base?
Anderson has played shortstop throughout his career, but it’s been rumored to be looking for him to play second baseman if he were to sign with the team. This would be a great bargain and steal for the Angels if they could sign a healthy and focused Anderson, adding depth around their franchise pillars and former league MVPs in Ohtani and Mike Trout, assuming Ohtani returns to the club.
Ohtani declined the Angels’ one-year $20.325 million qualifying offer ahead of Tuesday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline. The Angels will now receive Draft-pick compensation if Ohtani decides to sign elsewhere as a free agent.
The Angels are coming off their eighth consecutive losing season and ninth straight without a playoff appearance. Ohtani’s looming departure would be a big blow to the organization and set them back a few years of losing in most people’s eyes the best player in the game.
Bo Porter Is Proven Developer Of Young Talent
The Angles have some young MLBbro prospects in outfielders Jo Adell and Jordyn Adams and talented middle infielder Kyren Paris, who are ready to make a huge impact on the team in 2024. In addition, Ron Washington has added former Houston Astros manager Bo Porter to his staff as a first base coach and adviser.
Porter has served in every capacity from managing, to bench coach and base coach, MLB Network and MASN analyst, executive and is the current Director of Coaching for MLB, adding a wealth of knowledge to an already experienced coaching staff.
However, getting Anderson would be a great overall pick up if he can get his health back on track. The Angels are projected to have second-year player Zac Neto as the potential top candidate for shortstop next season. Having Anderson on the roster would allow them the flexibility and depth if Neto struggles or gets hurt.
Assuming Ohtani leaves, the Angels will be losing their star designated hitter, opening up more at-bat opportunities for guys such as Anderson. Now Anderson is no Ohtani (hint no one is), if he can regain what made him a Silver Slugger winner in 2020, that will surely help fill what will be a major gap left by the two-way phenom and MVP’s departure.
Let’s all root for Anderson as he looks to get healthy and find a new home for his baseball career.