Yet the Angels ended up with Jose Quintana and little more.
As a result, they are struggling in 2021, with a 18-23 record that has them in the fourth place of the American League West division.
Threre are lots of reasons that explain the Angels’ struggles, but let’s enumerate three.
Every team has the misfortune of dealing with injuries, as they are part of the game.
The Angels, therefore, have been no exception so far.
They were without one of their best players, third baseman Rendon, for several games as he nursed a left knee contusion in May.
Now, their outlook for the rest of the season just got very murky, as Trout, the best player in MLB, will be on the shelf for a significant amount of time.
The Angels placed Trout on the 10-day injured list with a Grade 2 right calf strain.
Angels announce OF Mike Trout has been placed on the 10-day IL with a calf strain. Estimated return to play is 6-8 weeks. pic.twitter.com/Zzrjz6gbB8
— MLB (@MLB) May 18, 2021
Trout suffered the ailment while running the bases on Monday night.
The outfielder is expected to miss the next 6-8 weeks.
He was batting .333/.466/.624 and will be a tough one to overcome for the Angels.
2. Late-Inning Relief Adventures
The Angels traded for Raisel Iglesias before the season to bring some stability to the closer role.
Sadly, it didn’t work out at first, and it was ugly.
Usually a very effective late-inning reliever, Iglesias currently has a 4.80 ERA, two blown saves, and two losses in the early going.
In his first four outings, Iglesias had a rough 9.00 ERA.
He has put it together recently, but those lost games count in the final standings, and Los Angeles is currently 18-23.
Iglesias hasn’t been the only problem in the Angels’ bullpen, as the unit has a 5.07 ERA, the fifth-worst in the league.
If the Angels want to get far in the 2021 campaign, they need to reinforce their bullpen.
1. Poor Starting Pitching
It’s really frustrating to see how the Angels waste year after year of Mike Trout’s prime.
The star center fielder is already 29 and has only advanced to the postseason once in his career, back in 2014.
A big part of the failures can be attributed to poor pitching, and 2021 is no exception to the rule.
Angels & pitching https://t.co/s6hNE3WxuD
— The Peoples Champ (@Dopeitseddie) May 13, 2021
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Halos were 19th in pitching Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, with 2.7.
Those 2.7 wins are very, very far from the best register, belonging to the New York Yankees: 7.4.
WAR takes strikeouts, walks, and other factors into account.
If you want to judge the Angels from a pure, traditional run-prevention standpoint, then look at their ERA as a team.
The Angels’ ERA is the worst in MLB, with 5.28: the second-worst, the Colorado Rockies, are at 5.09.
That means the Angels have been the worst pitching unit in MLB with some difference.
Only Ohtani has an ERA below 4.78, at 2.10.
The pitching needs to be better if the Angels want to go somewhere.