The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese from the Cardinals last week and inked reliever Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million free agent contract on Saturday. Now Anaheim is zeroing in on its biggest offseason need — starting pitching.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the Halos have expressed interest in free agent starters Bronson Arroyo and Bartolo Colon. Arroyo, 36, is said to be seeking a three-year contract. Colon, 40, can probably be had for a one- or two-year deal.
The Angels posted a 4.23 staff ERA in 2013 that ranked 24th in the majors. Only the Blue Jays, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Twins and Astros were worse.
Arroyo registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/34 K/BB ratio in 202 innings with the Reds this past season. Colon had a 2.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 117/29 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings with the A’s.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.