Call to the Pen: Relievers the Angels Could Sign this Offseason

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Updated: December 22, 2016

The Angels have been relatively quiet on the free agent front this offseason, as most of their big moves have been made via trade, but the team needs to sign a player or two to round out their bullpen. As of today, the Halos have one great bullpen piece in Cam Bedrosian and a mix of mediocre and unpredictable pieces around him. If the Angels want to contend in 2017, then signing a few quality relievers should be in their best interest. Here are a few players that Billy Eppler could bring to Anaheim to help out in the ‘pen.

LHP J.P. Howell

The Angels only have one lefty in their projected 2017 bullpen, so signing Howell makes a ton of sense. Howell has spent the past four season with the Dodgers, so staying in Southern California might be a plus for him. He has had good numbers in the past five seasons and has had an ERA+ north of 100 in six of the past eight years.

Last season, Howell saw a bit of a drop off in his numbers, but that was partially to blame on his defense. He had a FIP of 3.50, 0.59 points lower than his ERA. Howell’s make up fits Eppler’s offseason plan of finding groundball pitchers for an elite defense perfectly. Howell’s go to pitch is his sinker and he has a career ground ball percentage of 53.2%. With a new and improved middle infield, Howell would be great in Anaheim.

LHP Boone Logan

Another lefty, Logan has been chased by a good amount of teams this offseason, but he is still within the Angels’ price range. He is real similar to J.P. Howell as he generates a good amount of ground balls, but he is a more attractive option because he thrived at Coors Field last season. That means that his ERA was most likely inflated and he is a better pitcher than he showed in the past few seasons.

Logan was great with the Yankees from 2010 to 2013, so he has a great track record. If the Angels want to splurge on a good reliever, Logan is a good option.

RHP Neftali Feliz

Feliz reinvented himself in Pittsburgh last season after a bad season in 2015. Unlike Howell and Logan, Feliz is more of a strikeout guy than a groundball guy, as he had more than a strikeout per inning in 2016.

He blows by guys with a 95+ MPH fastball so he would bring some speed to the Halo bullpen. His price will be a bit inflated in this market, but with the power pitching he brings, it would be worth it.

RHP Drew Storen

Storen has never really been an elite reliever, but he has had some great seasons in the majors. Last season, he struggled in Toronto with a 6.21 ERA in 38 appearances, but found himself again in Seattle, throwing 18.1 innings with a 3.44 ERA. He owns a career 45.5% ground ball percentage, so like Howell and Logan, he would benefit from having Simba and Espinosa behind him. Storen has had four seasons where he outperformed his FIP, so he actually is a better option than he seems. He should come fairly cheap given his struggles last season, so Storen could be a good middle relief option for the Halos.

RHP Greg Holland

Holland hasn’t thrown a pitch in about a year and a half, but he is still the top relief option in the free agent market. He was the closing pitcher for the Royals from 2012 to 2015, a span in which he had a 1.86 ERA and a 1.92 FIP. He is a ground ball pitcher, but he also fans a ton of batters, as shown by his 12.6 SO/9. He will most likely be the most expensive option on the market, but it would give the Angels a bonafide shutdown reliever. The fact that he is coming back from Tommy John means most teams aren’t committed to giving him a late-inning role. If the Angels come in and promise him a shot at being the closer, they might be able to snag him from contenders trying to load up their bullpens.

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