Team Ace: Jared Weaver
Most Valuable Position Player: Mike Trout
Breakout Candidate: Peter Bourjos
Notable Offseason Additions: Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett
Notable Offseason Losses: Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Torii Hunter
Biggest Team Weakness: The Infield
The Angels are stacked on both sides of the ball. They already added Albert Pujols last offseason and rookie Mike Trout during the season. Now they have Josh Hamilton, one of the most explosive power hitters in the game and a stellar defender, to the outfield to replace Torii Hunter. They replaced Dan Haren with the combination of Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, and Joe Blanton. One of them has to at least be able to replace Haren’s stat line as the third pitcher on the team, and the rest will add to their rotation’s depth.
Although their bullpen depth was on the weaker side in 2012, Ernesto Frieri had a break out season, recording 23 saves with a 2.31 ERA as a closer. Yet something about Frieri must have concerned the Angels, because in the offseason they went out to buy Ryan Madson as their closer. They also acquired Sean Burnett as a go to guy in the seventh inning.
This is a top-heavy roster, and the star players should be able to do enough to be a great team. But looking past the superstars they have pretty unexciting players around the field. Howard Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, and Erick Aybar are all average at best both offensively and defensively. Instead of improving their weaknesses they continue to build on their strengths, which will make them a dominating force most of the time, but will lead to inconsistencies throughout the season.