Angels won't give up pick for starters, limiting market

USA TODAY Sports

The Angels options for improving their rotation are limited by draft compensation attached to the market's top starters.

The Angels would like to avoid free agents attached to draft pick compensation in their pursuit for an improved rotation, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports.

General manager Jerry Dipoto has expressed his intentions to maintain the club's first-round pick, which would count out starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana. Both players received qualifying offers from their 2013 teams, meaning the Angels would have to forfeit their first pick in the 2014 draft in order to sign them.

Dipoto reiterated the fact that the Angels have given up their first pick two years in a row, leaving them "noticeably thin in the Minor League system, particularly with upper-level pitching."

While signing Mark Mulder to a "creative" and heavily incentive-laden deal could help that situation, the Angels appear to remain on the hunt for an impact starter -- Mulder is no sure thing, especially since he hasn't pitched in the majors at all since 2008, when he was 30.

The team could target Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo, or Masahiro Tanaka without the threat of surrendering a draft pick, but the market thins out considerably from there, with lower-tier options like Chris Capuano, Jason Hammel or Paul Maholm highlighting the remainder.

Last season, the Angels used 11 different starters over the course of the year, finishing 11th in the American League with a 4.30 team ERA despite playing half of their games in the pitcher-frindly confines of Angel Stadium. They have already placed an emphasis on adding talent, acquiring Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago in the Mark Trumbo trade, but in order to improve significantly on 2013, the team appears to be dedicated to further reforming their rotation.

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