The Los Angeles Angels look to be busy this winter with the number one target being Gerrit Cole. However, the team should still look to add in other areas as well.
The main storyline around the Los Angeles Angels this offseason is Gerrit Cole. The Orange County native is tied to the Halos because of his hometown proximity to the team as well as the insistence of the Angels to “do whatever it takes” to sign Cole.
Until that settles, there is not going to be much talk about anything else. The team traded for Dylan Bundy, who provides starting rotation depth, and even that kind of got swept under the rug.
But just because everyone is focused on Cole and the starting rotation right now does not mean that the Angels should ignore other areas of the roster. There certainly are areas of the roster that can be improved upon, most notably the outfield.
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Right now, the starting outfield would likely be Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Brian Goodwin, which is just fine as a starting outfield. Trout is the best player in baseball, Upton can be a good power-hitting, run-driving bat when he is swinging it hot and Goodwin was actually really good in the chances he got last season.
However, there is a depth issue. There is no true “fourth outfielder” with Kole Calhoun‘s club option getting denied. The team has options, such as Taylor Ward or Michael Hermosillo, but it probably would not be the best idea to pretend like that is a deep outfield.
Plus, Upton is getting less reliable as his age creeps up and that was evident from him only logging 219 at-bats.
The Los Angeles Angels do not need to break the bank, they do not even need anyone that can be an everyday starter. They need depth and the perfect option, which totally seems like the kind of person that the Angels would pursue, exists in Adam Jones.
Jones was a free agent last winter after a fantastic run with the Baltimore Orioles and he did not have many suitors. The Arizona Diamondbacks took a chance on Jones and he ended up being a fairly reliable presence in the lineup.
Jones hit .260 with 16 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .728 OPS. Nothing to write home about, but he still proved to be a valuable asset with that production and with his 137 games played.
So why is this perfect for the Angels? It is great in terms of fit and cost and it is exactly the kind of move that the Angels’ front office always seems to make.
In terms of the fit, Jones would essentially be the team’s fourth outfielder to provide days off for the starting three The opportunity presents itself to platoon alongside Goodwin, however, Goodwin actually hit southpaws better last season despite being left-handed, although his batting average against southpaws was very similar to Jones’ (.263 and .261).
This is worth it for the Angels as Jones should not break the bank. He probably will get a one-year deal in the $3-5 million range, similar to the contracts they gave Justin Bour and Jonathan Lucroy last winter.
And that is why it is perfect in terms of the kind of moves the Angels make. Yes, they signed those one-year deals to have enough money for Cole this winter but the Angels love bringing in former big names past their prime, just look at the list.
Albert Pujols, Vernon Wells, Hideki Matsui, Ben Revere, Josh Hamilton, Matt Harvey, Lucroy, David Freese — the list goes on and on. That is not to say that Jones will flop like most of those signings did, but he does fit into the trend.
The Los Angeles Angeles should sign Adam Jones to a short-term, low-risk one year contract to provide depth for an outfield that currently has none. Then, once Jones’ contract is up, it will be Jo Adell time.