Angels had ‘multiple conversations’ with Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-Jin Ryu
With the market of top-tier free agents seemingly dwindling down, teams are going to be forced to go the extra mile to sign them, and it seems as though the Los Angeles Angels, among other teams, are finding that out first hand.
While they have been included in most starting pitcher rumors the entirety of this offseason, including the race to sign superstar ace Gerrit Cole, their focus seems to have shifted towards the two left-handers that are left on the market, Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu, according to the LA Times.
Pairing either Keuchel or Ryu with their current starting rotation, which includes incumbent southpaw and two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, would represent the second move this offseason that would show superstar Mike Trout that they have sat on their hands for long enough and that they are going to begin the long-overdue process of assembling a contender.
The Angels, who have been very aggressive on the free agency front this offseason, already brought in third baseman Anthony Rendon on a seven-year deal, so their interest in adding a high-priced starting pitcher is expected and should not be discounted simply as a rumor.
Of the two options that they seem to be considering, Keuchel is looking to finally be able to cash in on his talents, as he was frozen out of a big-time contract last offseason and was forced to settle for a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. While Keuchel showed even on a one-year agreement that he is still the same pitcher that he was with the Houston Astros, he still is looking for that payday.
Ryu is only one year older than Keuchel, and while his time with the Dodgers was ultimately very efficient, may end up being a bit of more of a risk than Keuchel, and would probably require a more expensive deal too. Ryu was one of the most dominant starting pitchers last season, and he wants to get paid like it
Regardless, the Angels are looking to finally field a competitive team in the American League West, a long-overdue task.