The Angels made two very underrated signings this week in signing Matt Harvey (1/$11M) and Trevor Cahill (1/$9M).
Matt Harvey has been injured or a disappointment for the past three seasons… but you may forget that he was pitching like a Cy Young winner the three seasons prior. Obviously the TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) derailed his once promising career, but it isn’t a death wish.
For reference, the Angels were rocking a rotation with Andrew Heaney as their #1, so anything would be an upgrade for them. Considering those circumstances and their payroll limitations, I think Harvey for 1/$11M is a great deal for them.
Harvey threw 155 IP last year and seemed to find some life in CIN after the trade with the Mets. His 4.33 FIP with the Reds won’t jump off the page but he could keep improving as he distances himself from the surgery.
If he can go for 160+ IP in 2019, which is no certainty with he track record lately, I can see him throw in the 3.80-4.20 ERA range with the defense behind him and snag double-digit wins.
It’s also worth noting that this offseason has seen Lance Lynn (3/$30M) and Anibal Sanchez (2/$19M + incentives) sign bigger than expected deals. For the same annual commitment as those two combined, the Angels got two pitchers with higher upside and only committed $20M combined (as opposed to $49M+).
Cahill is in a similar situation… when he’s on, he’s on… but he’s also usually injured.
In 2018, he managed a 3.76 ERA (3.54 FIP) and surprisingly provided immense value for the A’s. But here’s where I go somewhat bold… I think Cahill posts an ERA in the range of 3.25 with the Angels in 2019. Am I tipping the eggnog early?… No. This is an extreme groundball pitcher with potentially the greatest defensive SS in MLB history AND a well above-average Zack Cozart at either 2B or 3B behind him.
Overall, it is ironic to see a team play “moneyball” with a payroll as high as the Angels… but they did well here. Their next big obstacle is to get Trout to sign a lifetime deal with them… but that’s another article for another day.
*Photo by Hayden Schiff