HomeTeamsAngelsCan The Angels Build Around A Young Core and Current Manager?

Can The Angels Build Around A Young Core and Current Manager?

After what turned out to be a tumultuous offseason in which they let one of the game’s greatest talents in Shohei Ohtani walk out of the Big A and across the I-5 freeway into the waiting arms of the Los Angeles Dodgers, many people have written off the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as one of the more inept and confounding franchises currently in the MLB.

Not to mention, they have perhaps one of the worst owners in the league in Arte Moreno, who has made it clear he doesn’t intend to sell the team any time soon.

So the question that has besmirched the Angels all offseason and into spring training is where do they go from here in a post-Ohtani era?

The short and easy answer is nowhere. On the surface, they appear to be a franchise stuck in the mud. They’re stuck with a star player in Anthony Rendon, who is addition to being consistently injured, has made it clear baseball isn’t a top priority to him after recent comments in the first week of spring training.

He’s in the fifth year of a seven year contract that will pay him $114 million over the next three seasons, which no team would want to trade for right now.

It also appears that three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star outfielder Mike Trout is sticking with the Halos as he is entering his 14th season with the team, and is not looking for the easy way out. However, with all due respect to Trout who is also a generational talent, his own injury issues the past three years combined with an albatross of a contract that still has seven years and $248 million remaining.

Newly hired veteran manager Ron Washington could breathe some new energy, enthusiasm, and accountability into that clubhouse; however, nobody is expecting Wash to be a miracle worker in an increasingly competitive AL West which has the last two World Series champions in it.

That’s not to say all hope shouldn’t be lost, but the expectations need to be tempered down, especially for the upcoming 2024 season.

The goal shouldn’t to worry about wins as much it should be to develop a foundation with some of their young talents like Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, Logan O’Hoppe, and Mickey Moniak, and see if these guys can prove to be consistent major league players and perhaps even All-Star caliber some day.

With Ohtani gone, lefties Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers will be looked at to anchor this starting rotation and pitch at a higher level while right-hander Chase Silseth can hopefully build on a promising rookie campaign last year before suffering a concussion.

While others like Taylor Ward, Luis Rengifo, and veteran utilityman Brandon Drury will also be looked at to be solid everyday starters offensively, those names mentioned above need to show enough flashes to be potential building blocks of this sputtering organization and provide some hope to the loyal fans in Anaheim.

From that perspective, Washington could prove to be the right man for the job as he has a history of developing young talent as both a coach and manager. In those eight years he spent as the Texas Rangers’ skipper he helped cultivate many talented young players like Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, and Neftali Feliz while overseeing the re-emergence of embattled star Josh Hamilton.

He developed a culture in the process of developing these players which saw the Rangers win consecutive AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, taking a once-cellar dwelling franchise into a position of prominence.

He will have to do something similar with this Angels team, a once proud franchise, who became bottom-feeders in the league over the last decade. The bad signings, the lack of a strong player development system, and a micromanaging owner that has caused a carousel of GMs and executives has doomed this organization.

It is an uphill battle with no guarantees of any immediate success, but with an old-school competitive guy like Washington as skipper and some solid young talents, this Angels team could have something to look at in the next few years.

Chris Camello
Chris Camellohttps://mlbreport.com/
Chris Camello has been a sports writer, reporter, and podcaster for 11 years covering all of the major sports teams throughout Los Angeles as well as college and high school sports. He currently covers high school football, basketball, and baseball for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and co-hosts as sports podcast called “The Outlet Forum” available on all major streaming platforms.


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