The Los Angeles Angels need several things this offseason, reliable starting pitching being one of them; enter Charlie Morton.
The Los Angeles Angels have the core to be successful and have made some really, really good moves in the past few years. The trade for Andrelton Simmons is one of the best trades of the last three years in the MLB and signing Shohei Ohtani was a huge shot in the arm for the franchise.
However, the Angels have still yet to piece things together despite having a decent core around the best player in baseball, Mike Trout.
For every great move, the Angels have made some bad moves. Los Angeles still has the sores from the atrocious Josh Hamilton deal and the massive Albert Pujols contract that started looking terrible after two years.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
With Trout under team control for two more seasons and the likes of Simmons, Justin Upton and Ohtani surrounding him, the Angels have to be aggressive this winter much like they were last winter.
Last winter the team went out and got Ohtani, Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart. Ohtani looked great at times but the team terribly mismanaged him and he won’t take the mound again until 2020. Kinsler was a dud that was traded to Boston and Cozart never looked great and only played 58 games.
The focus this offseason is going to be different. Instead of chasing after infielders, the Los Angeles Angels are going to be tasked with finding talented, reliable, starting pitching.
The team has had talented starting rotations but also has some of the worst injury luck in the world. With Garrett Richards set to be a free agent, Ohtani not pitching at all in 2019 and JC Ramirez set to miss most the year, the Angels need starting pitching.
The starting pitching free agent class is not great, either. If the team is looking for a reliable arm that does not have to be the ace, the front office should chase nonother than Charlie Morton.
Morton is a good shout for the Angels as he will not be a huge contract to take on and can be a quality middle of the rotation arm to eat innings. Morton made just under $9 million last season and likely won’t get more than $12 million a year this winter.
Per FanGraphs, Morton ranks 20th in pitching WAR over the last two seasons for pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched. With the same qualifications, Morton ranks 12th in K/9 (10.44) and has the 16th-lowest HR/9.
Morton has postseason experience and knows what it takes to pitch in big spots and play in a playoff atmosphere. That is ultimately the Angels’ goal with this core and adding an experienced arm like Morton to the pitching staff will have positive implications on the rest of the staff.
Morton has bought into the analytics movement, as have the rest of the Astros’ pitching staff. With an electric two-seam fastball and swing and miss breaking stuff, Morton has a two-pitch mix that terrorizes opposing batters.
And while he has had injury problems in the past, Morton has been great over the last two seasons and has shown he can handle a full season’s worth of work. He is definitely an arm worth exploring for the Los Angeles Angels.