The Los Angeles Angels have made great strides this offseason to strengthen their pitching staff both from a starting pitching standpoint and in the bullpen. New additions Joe Smith and Fernando Salas join last season’s surprises Dane De La Rosa and Michael Kohn to repair what was a revolving door in last year’s bullpen.
The Angels have also made a move to add some young arms to an aging starting pitching staff. The Angels traded fan favorite Mark Trumbo for 26-year-old left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago and 22-year-old former first-round pick Tyler Skaggs. Though an unpopular move with the fans, it was a good move for the Angels from an organizational standpoint. The Angels needed to get younger and trading away one of their big bats was the only way that was going to happen.
The top three spots in the rotation will be held down by staff ace Jared Weaver, lefty C.J. Wilson and 26-year-old Garrett Richards who had a solid second half in the starting rotation last season. This leaves two spots open in the back end of the rotation where newly acquired Skaggs and Santiago will compete with last season’s bust Joe Blanton. Even if the youngster Skaggs and Santiago can win those two rotation spots out of spring training there is absolutely no depth if there is an injury along the way. This is where the signing of veteran Bronson Arroyo becomes important.
The 37-year-old Arroyo has pitched 200 innings eight of the last nine seasons and has the most wins over the last six. Arroyo is a fly ball pitcher which did not bode well for him in hitter friendly Cincinnati, but he was able to keep the damage to a minimum by keeping hitters off of the base paths. Angel Stadium is considered a pitcher friendly park where the ball doesn’t carry well. Arroyo’s 3.79 ERA and 1.153 WHIP would slide right in behind Wilson and ahead of Richards in the rotation. This would allow Skaggs to get more seasoning in AAA or bump Santiago to the bullpen if needed.
Arroyo is looking for a four-year contract, but I don’t think any team in their right mind would give a 37-year-old pitcher a four-year deal. I think if the Angels offered him a two-year deal with an option for a third at approximately $11 million a season it would definitely give him something to think about. Unlike Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, Arroyo will not cost the Angels draft pick compensation.
Jeremy Pari is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jallenpari, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.