These 4 pitchers may make the Angels the perfect trade partner for the Cardinals

With the Angels in limbo after Shohei Ohtani's inevitable departure, their plethora of talented starters could be of great interest to the Cardinals

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels - Game Two
Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels - Game Two / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Tyler Anderson

When the Angels signed Tyler Anderson last offseason, many viewed it as a great first step in bolstering an already solid rotation headlined by Ohtani, Sandoval, and Detmers with an established veteran presence. His 3-year $39 million deal could've been a real bargain if Anderson had pitched anywhere near his All-Star 2022 season with the Dodgers where he posted a 2.57 ERA, 1.002 WHIP, and 3.31 FIP. Unfortunately, his ERA more than doubled as he became nearly unplayable in Anaheim. With low strikeout numbers, the shift ban certainly did not help his cause in 2023, as he allowed far more hits and hard contact. His strikeout numbers actually increased, from 7.0 K/9 to 7.6 K/9, but he lost all sense of command as his walk rate ballooned from 1.7 per 9 in 2022 to 4.1.

In terms of success with free-agent starting pitchers, the two Los Angeles-based teams are polar opposites. When Anderson signed with the Dodgers on a one-year prove-it deal, he over-performed his career 4.62 ERA tremendously. It looked like he transformed himself into a frontline starting pitcher before heading to Anaheim. By contrast, Anderson's first season with the Angels was the worst full season of his career by a considerable margin.


As stated previously, the Angels have long seen their pitching acquisitions fail only to go elsewhere and perform much better. Fans should certainly not expect 2022 Dodgers' Anderson, but if he performs anywhere close, he'd be worth a gamble as a backend rotation or depth piece in St. Louis. If the Angels eat around 5 million in each of Anderson's remaining two years, a return of 2-3 mid-tier prospects would probably get the deal done.