The Winter Meetings have begun, so let's not screw around with one of trademark meandering intros. Basically, the Halos need some stuff and the Winter Meetings is where stuff done gets got. So what exactly do they need and what players might meet those needs? (Also, how many more times can I use the word "need" in this write-up? Someone please get me a thesaurus for Christmas.)
1) Starting pitching
In case you didn't notice, the Angel rotation is being held together by bubble gum and duct tape right now. Their ace's velocity is dropping faster than Felix Baumgartner, their lefty just had elbow surgery after a disappointing season, they just traded for a youngster who now officially goes by Tommy "Injury Red Flag" Hanson and then there is Garrett Richards, who is hoping that the third time will be the charm when it comes to him locking down a rotation spot. Other than all that, everything is great. What the Angels really need is Zack Greinke to get the starting pitching back to being a real weapon, but if they can't convince him to come back, they at least need to find a steady veteran who can just give the middle of the rotation some stability seeing how he'll be surrounded by nothing but question marks.
Potential targets: Zack Greinke (yay), Anibal Sanchez (meh), Kyle Lohse (boo), Ryan Dempster (ugh), James Shields (I guess that'll do), Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Edwin Jackson, Joe Saunders, Mike Pelfrey, Jeff Karstens, Dan Haren
2) A Walden replacement
The Angels need bullpen depth, which they had addressed by signing Ryan Madson, but then they put themselves back at square one by trading Jordan Walden. Now they are on righty short again and arguably have an even bigger need since there is no guarantee that Madson will be healthy and/or effective come Opening Day. So, like the rotation need above, the Angels would be strongly advised to pursue a middle reliever that they know they can count on, even if he has limited upside. However, with so many former All-Star closers on the mend available, Dipoto could double down on his Madson bet by bringing in someone like Joakim Soria or Brian Wilson which would give the Halos a killer bullpen if everything works out in the Angels' favor, which it always does, right?
Potential targets: Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Jason Grilli, Matt Lindstrom, Jon Rauch
3) Another lefty out of the pen
Even if the Halos get what they want in the shopping item above, they could still use some more depth, this time from the other side. Scioscia has seen the light of having southpaws in his bullpen, so giving him a second lefty would really maximize his options since we all know how much he prefers to save Downs for the seventh and eighth innings. There is also the small matter of Downs potentially being on the decline, so having another quality left-hander would be a nice insurance policy.
Potential targets: Sean Burnett, J.P. Howell, Mike Gonzalez, Daniel Schlereth
4) If all else fails, an impact bat
Here's the thing with this item, it is more of a last resort than anything else. As of right now, the Halos have between $15 million and $25 million to spend for 2013. If they somehow miss out on Greinke and all the other more expensive rotation options, they are going to have a big chunk of change burning a hole in their pocket and probably a poor rotation. Given that combination, it is possible the Angels could use that extra spending cash to fortify their lineup given that they are really going to have to out-slug their opponents since their starting pitching isn't going to be a strength as usual.
Potential targets: Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, Kevin Youkilis