Well here’s something I didn’t expect to ever write: Shohei Ohtani is going to be a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Mike Trout. Shohei Ohtani. Andrelton Simmons. Justin Upton.
Are the Angels… kinda good?
LOL. No. Not really. They’re still paying the withering husk of Albert Pujols between $27 and $30 million for each of the next four seasons (Pujols slashed .241/.286/.386 in 2017, which was good for a 78 wRC+, and -2.0 WAR). And while paying over $60 million to Trout, Pujols, and Ohtani combined is certainly better than paying it to just Trout and Pujols (and, frankly, better than paying that much to Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, and Troy Tulowitzki — ughhhhhhhhhh), there’s still the little matter of the rest of the roster.
Dan Szymborski’s early ZiPS projections for ESPN.com had the Angels at 81-81. It had the Jays at 83-79.
As we can see from FanGraphs’ deeper look at the ZiPS projections for the Jays’ roster, the system is probably being a little bit generous on the Jays’ bullpen (5.2 wins combined between Osuna, Leone, Tepera, and Loup), and maybe even to Devon Travis and Tulo (I’m sadly not sure I’d take the over on the 3.5 WAR projected for them), but it’s also not taking Aledmys Diaz into account (nor is it the be-all, end-all, of course).
Which isn’t to say that the Angels didn’t just likely instantly get at least a couple wins better (likely more), for almost no money, and today look a better bet than the Jays to snag that second Wild Card spot. But meh. The Jays will improve, too, by the end of the offseason. Then they’ll actually play the games and we’ll see how it goes from there.
More importantly, oh man do the Mariners ever come out the losers in this one. Sure, sure, Yankees fans and Rangers fans filling their diapers is damned funny, but the Mariners trading for all that bonus pool money — opting for Dee Gordon instead of a very similar, probably cheaper option in Jarrod Dyson (who wouldn’t have cost them a couple of decent prospects, either), just to get a bunch of useless bonus pool money? Oh man that’s delicious. And then having Ohtani land in their own division? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Also delicious: that it sure as hell looks like the offseason is really starting to hit its stride. NOW LET’S SEE SOME DEALS!
Ohtani and the Angels visit Rogers Centre from May 22nd to the 24th.