How to fix the Angels
Stronger pitching, better production from aging stars key to turnaround
Was there a bigger disappointment in 2013 than the Los Angeles Angels? Perhaps the Washington Nationals or the Toronto Blue Jays are in the conversation, but to suffer 84 losses after spending on Josh Hamilton and being an overwhelming preseason playoff pick was nothing less than a crushing blow for Arte Moreno's heavily-hyped team.
Coming off their terrible season, the Angels find themselves in something of a difficult position headed into 2014. Once likely arbitration cases are figured in, they have approximately $140 million in contracts on the books, including four different players -- Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson -- making at least $18 million, and that limits their flexibility to improve.
The good news is that after starting out at 17-27, they were above .500 (61-56) from late May through the end of the season. As we saw with the Red Sox, a team with star talent can make a quick turnaround, and since the Angels already have an expensive payroll with big names, they are motivated to go for it all in 2014. Here's how they can turn it around.
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