Canning is probably the least interesting of the Angels' arms, but the former top-100 prospect could still have some upside if he can overcome his long injury history. His 2023 season was a step in the right direction as the former second-rounder out of UCLA pitched 127 innings to a respectable 4.32 ERA, 4.29 FIP, and 9.9 K/9. Home runs and hard hit rate have been the main concern with Canning's viability since he was called up in 2019, but at age 27, there's still a possibility he will figure something out and become a solid mid-rotation arm. After all, he did lower his walk rate significantly in 2023.
The Angels have often struggled to get the most from their starting pitchers. Andrew Heaney, Jose Quintana, Julio Teheran, and Dylan Bundy are only a few examples of solid starters who had disaster seasons in Anaheim before figuring it out elsewhere. Canning's performance hasn't been nearly as poor, but he still hasn't lived up to his full potential. The Cardinals aren't a pitching factory like the Dodgers, Rays, or Guardians, but they've been able to fix starters such as Canning into solid options before.
The price to acquire Canning would also not be very steep. With only 2 more years of arbitration left, it's unlikely he will factor much into the Angels' future plans, and it would probably be wise to use him to recoup prospect capital. Two mid to low-tier prospects should get the job done.