Aaron Loup deal with Angels, per source: Two years, $17M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 22, 2021
The Angels entered this offseason with a massive need for relief help, and the Loup signing is undeniably a great step in the right direction.
L.A. fans suddenly have a lot to be excited about entering the 2022 season.
Is this team finally going to contend?
Loup Is Exactly What The Doctor Ordered For L.A.
The Angels had one of the worst bullpens in baseball in 2021.
The unit posted a 4.59 ERA, which ranked as the seventh-worst mark in the big leagues.
Fortunately, the organization is trying to address the issue.
Here’s what the Angels are getting in Loup.
The southpaw appeared in 65 games in 2021.
He was one of baseball’s most reliable relievers, as he posted an insane 0.95 ERA, 422 ERA+, 2.45 FIP, and 0.94 WHIP.
He racked up a bWAR of 2.8 along the way.
In recent years, Loup has established himself as an elite bullpen arm.
He has a 1.38 ERA over 93 appearances since the beginning of the 2019 season, and he has a 296 ERA+ over that span.
For context, a 296 ERA+ is 196 percent better than league-average.
Aaron Loup has a 3.05 career ERA (407.2 IP – 138 ER) across 471 appearances with the Blue Jays (2012-18), Phillies (2018), Padres (2019), Rays (2020) & Mets (2021).
The southpaw posted a minuscule 0.95 ERA & a career-best .192 BAA in 2021.💥pic.twitter.com/yiZoyPJLrp
— AngelsWin.com (@AngelsWin) November 22, 2021
L.A. is going to reap the benefits of his services for two years, which should get the team very excited.
Angels Are Clearly Committed To Contending In 2022
The Angels making some noise this offseason.
They’ve now stolen two key free agents away from the New York Mets, with Noah Syndergaard being the first and Loup being the second.
Both signings address major weak points for L.A., and the team is already starting to look very interesting on paper.
And truthfully, that’s starting to look like a possibility in 2022.
Sure, the Angels have more work to do.
For instance, if Raisel Iglesias were to leave the team in free agency, the Loup signing would lose a lot of its luster.
But above all, the organization is showing a willingness to go after top free agents and build an exciting product, and that’s something we don’t always see from L.A.
What Should Be The Team’s Next Move?
What should be the Angels’ next move this offseason?
Well, as mentioned, re-signing Iglesias should be a priority.
He and Iglesias could form a nasty duo in the bullpen if given the chance.
But Iglesias aside, the Angels could seriously put the league on notice by getting in the mix for one of the several superstar starting pitchers still available.
A few dominoes have already fallen, but there are plenty of elite rotation arms still looking for homes.
Kevin Gausman to the Angels is a match made in heaven. I'd be very happy with this offseason if we got Gausman.
— TyGuy711 (@TyGuy711) November 22, 2021
L.A.’s rotation registered a very poor ERA of 4.78 in 2021, and that’s obviously not going to get the job done in 2022 if the team wants to contend.
The Syndergaard signing will certainly help, but if the Angels were to add any of the starters we just listed, they’d become legitimate threats to do some damage next season.