The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to sign Japanese Phenom pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani, per his agency CAA. The Angels have $2.135 million in their international spending money pool, and it is unclear on how much of that Ohtani will receive.
Ohtani was the most viewed free agent on the open market this offseason. Coming over from Japan, Ohtani will make a huge impact on the Angels' organization. The Angels plan to utilize Ohtani as a left-handed hitter and a right-handed pitcher.
As a pitcher, the 23-year-old can throw up to 102 mph and has other plus pitches, such as a slider and back door breaking ball. Ohtani immediately becomes the ace for the Angels.
As a hitter, Ohtani has above average power and bat for average. If Ohtani is the real deal in the MLB, look for Ohtani to possibly DH every game for the Angels, except the night he starts on the mound.
Ohtani played through 2017 with an injury, but he had a phenomenal season in 2016. The Japanese version of Babe Ruth hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games. On the mound, Ohtani went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched.
The Los Angeles Angels have acquired veteran pitcher Jim Johnson and $1.21 million in international spending money from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher Justin Kelly, per a press release posted on twitter by the Braves.
Johnson, 34, will help bulk up the Angels' bullpen as they look to be contenders next season. Johnson has played the closer role in the past, and will likely be a late-inning reliever for the Halos. The righty has shown that he has a consistent fastball, which hits 93-95 mph on the radar gun.
Johnson had a tough year in his first season of a two-year, $10 million deal. He struggled with a 5.56 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Since joining the Braves in 2015, the veteran had a 3.67 ERA and 51 saves in 175 games. Johnson has not been able to pitch like his glory days with the Baltimore Orioles, when he was the American League saves leader twice.
In exchange for Johnson, the Braves will receive 2016 first-rounder, Justin Kelly. Kelly, 24, pitched in five levels within the Angels' organization last season. In 63 2/3 innings, Kelly had a 6-4 record with a 3.53 ERA, in 25 games.
The Angels will likely use the international spending money they will receive to pursue Japenese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani.
Los Angeles Angels are set to acquire second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves per John Heyman of fan rag sports.
The Angels have been very active today on the August waiver trade deadline as they acquired outfielder Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers this afternoon. The Angels sit 69 - 65 entering today and they are one and a half games behind the Minnesota Twins for a wild-card spot.
Phillips is set to become a free agent after the season. The Angels now have a dynamic duo up the middle of their infield wih Andrelton Simmons at shortstop and Phillips at second base.
Phillips, 36, is batting .291 this season with 11 homeruns and 52 RBIs. Phillips has stayed healthy the season and it's played in 120 games for the Atlanta Braves.
He was acquired this off-season after being traded from the Cincinnati Reds. Phillips waived his no trade clause to join the Los Angeles Angels.
The Los Angeles Angels are reportedly set to acquire all-star outfielder Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Upton is owed nearly $89 million left on his long term deal. He can opt out of his deal after the season.
Upton, 29, is having an all-star caliber season. He is batting .279, with 28 HRs and 94 RBIs. He has also tallied 37 doubles this season.
Upton will provide some power in the Halo's line up. He will provide insurance for Albert Pujols and Mike Trout.
Before the Mike Trout era in Anaheim, Jered Weaver was the Los Angeles Angels' Halo. June, 30, 2006 is a date many Angels fans may recall. It's the date that Jered Weaver would change the landscape of baseball in Anaheim, California.
Since he was called up to the major leagues as a 23-year-old in 2006, Weaver has always been special. His fastball was never overpowering, but the way he could maximize his pitches, was. He was able to utilize all his pitches throughout his 12-year-career.
Entering the 2006 season, he was ranked as Major League Baseball's #57th best prospect, according to Baseball America. He was considered to be polished, and could use his high 80's fastball towards his advantage.
When he emerged on the scene later that year, he stunned hitters with an incredible breaking ball. Hitters were not used to Weaver's craft. The righty finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year award voting, as he finished the season 11-2, with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts. He was basically unhittable that year, allowing 6.8 H/9.
Lets fast forward now to the 2010 season. Weaver, now 27, had just led the Angels to three consecutive postseasons. The next three years would be considered to be his "prime" years. He used the 2010 season as his turning point. The past two seasons, he had an inflated ERA of 4.33, then 3.75.
In 2010, he appeared is his first all-star game. He finished the year 13-12, and had an ERA of 3.01. He also led the American League with 233 strikeouts in 224.1 innings, and he came up short of the CY Young award.
A year later, Weaver had arguably the best season of his career. His 2.41 ERA, was the second best in the league. Also, he came in third in wins with 18 of them, despite recording eight losses. Once again he was hard to hit, as he had a remarkable 7.0 H/9 that year. It was good enough for his second career all-star appearance, and he was the runner up of the CY Young award.
After the 2012 season, he started to lose some steam. His fastball lost some momentum and his curve was never the same.
In 2016, he started to regress. He posted a 5.06 ERA with the Angels and allowed 37 home runs. He made it the full year with his 82 mph fastball, but when he hit free agency after earning $23 million, the Halos were not interested in a reunion with their 2004 first-round pick.
When Weaver hit the open market, the San Diego Padres were in need of a veteran pitcher for the 2017 season. The Padres signed the 34-year-old to a one-year, $3 million deal.
Yesterday, Weaver hung up his cleats and called it quits after going 0-5, with a 7.44 ERA in nine starts, with the Padres.
In a statement released by the Padres yesterday, Weaver said that his body can no longer compete like he wants to.
Now, to the question I want to ask you. Does Jered Weaver deserve to receive hall-of-fame recognition? I say yes.
He was a premier pitcher for nearly a decade. He led the Angels to at least 20 wins when he pitched, multiple seasons. How can someone who had a remarkable career not get votes to enter the hall-of-fame?
My message to all the 2023 Hall-of-Fame class voters.....do not consider your vote based off of his last three seasons. Before the 2015 season, his career ERA was a spectacular 3.29. Just because he never won a CY Young Award or Most Valuable Player Award, doesn't mean he isn't Hall-of-Fame worthy!
I personally wish Jered Weaver a happy retirement and I congratulate him on an outstanding player career.
This week in baseball featured a lot of news. This past extended weekend featured a lot of Memorial Day festivities to honor the men and women who have risked their lives to protect the citizens of the United States of America.
Here is a recap of what happened this week:
Angels' superstar outfielder Mike Trout, is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of baseball action, due to a torn thumb ligament. He had surgery on Wednesday (5/31). He injured his thumb, when he was sliding into second base on Sunday.
Former Republican Presidential Candidate and the 43rd Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, dropped out of the running to purchase the Miami Marlins. Bush was expected to be the control person of the group of investors trying to purchase the team.
Nationals' OF Bryce Harper and Giants' RHP Hunter Strickland were the leaders of a brawl, which broke out between the two teams. Strickland threw a 98 MPH fastball at Harper's hip. Harper charged the mound, leading to several punches between the duo. Harper was originally suspended 4 games for his actions, but the suspension was reduced to 3 games, while Strickland was suspended for 6 games.
The Cardinals decided to release veteran reliever Jonathan Broxton. The 33-year-old righty struggled, a lot early, as he posted a 6.89 ERA in just 15.2 innings.
The Rangers also cut one their former star relievers. They decided on Thursday to designate RHP Sam Dyson for assignment. Their intent is to trade the former closer. Dyson struggled early on, as he has allowed 20 earned runs and 31 hits in 16.2 innings. Dyson owns an ERA of 10.80.