As the free agent market continues to dwindle this offseason, free agent pitcher Jesse Crain could be a possible target for the Los Angeles Angels.
The 32-year-old right-hander has been a solid pitcher out of the bullpen in his nine-year career, posting a respectable 3.05 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 440 strikeouts in 532.0 innings pitched. He was off to a great start in the 2013 regular season with the Chicago White Sox as he had a 0.74 ERA with 46 strikeouts, and 19 holds in 36.2 innings pitched. It was good enough to earn him his first All-Star selection.
However, his season was derailed by a right shoulder strain in July that led to him getting traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was unable to appear in a game for his new team for the remainder of the year. Although he did not play in the final two months of the season, Crain had shown prior to the injury that he could be a reliable arm out of the bullpen.
As for the Angels, the team did not receive quality innings out of their bullpen for the most part last season as their young relievers struggled to bring any consistency, and it often cost them victories in the process. This offseason, the Halos have made it an emphasis to address that issue by acquiring pitching in Tyler Skaggs, Hector Santiago and Joe Smith.
The addition of Crain would continue that trend as it would provide another proven pitcher to an Angels’ bullpen that last season held the seventh-highest ERA (4.23) and allowed the fourth most hits (1475). Although there is the question mark with his health heading into next season, Crain is a risk worth taking.