The Angels missed the playoffs again, and it's fair to wonder if they're wasting their precious time with Mike Trout. They have a new general manager around to keep that from happening, but it's to be seen if he can overcome the budget limitations in place, caused in large part by owner Arte Moreno's high-priced meddling. Can Albert Pujols stay young? Will the rotation hold up? Can Jered Weaver break 85 mph? The Angels have as much talent as they do questions about it.
Andrelton Simmons cost the Angels their last legitimate prospect, but as he's still just 26 and is one of the best defenders in the game. He was worth the price. He's not going to hit in a way that makes the Angels more dangerous, but he should hit enough for a shortstop even before accounting for his all-world glove.
All additions: Andrelton Simmons, Yunel Escobar, Geovany Soto, Daniel Nava,
Yunel Escobar should replace him just fine, but David Freese had a quality 2015 for the Angels at third base, so Escobar kind of has to.
All departures: David Freese, Mat Latos, Chris Iannetta, Trevor Gott, Matt Joyce, David Murphy
The Angels are at serious risk of being very average, so in order to reach their best-case scenario of making the postseason, they are going to need someone besides Mike Trout to step up and flourish. The lineup has the potential to be great once more, and nearly every member of the rotation has been successful at one point, so if the Angels happen to see above-average play from all around, then they could very well lead the AL West.
The Angels probably won't be outright bad, but they can easily be average and boring again, and that's not going to work in the AL West or the American League at large. Plus, it would disappoint Mike Trout, and no one wants that.
Lineup: Yunel Escobar, Daniel Nava, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Carlos Perez, Andrelton Simmons, Johnny Giavotella
Rotation: Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver, Andrew Heaney, Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker