The Angels are expected to land an elite starting pitcher this offseason, and they may be willing to pay top dollar to land Max Scherzer, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Scherzer, a former Cy Young award winner, will enter the free agent market for the first time in his career this offseason. Scherzer just wrapped up his fifth year with the Detroit Tigers, posting a 3.32 ERA over 161 starts in Detroit. Last year the Tigers tried to extend Scherzer, and he reportedly turned down a contract that would have paid him an annual salary similar to teammate Justin Verlander's $28 millon/per year salary. Scherzer's risky decision to reject the contract paid off, as 2014 saw him post career-highs in innings pitched, strikeouts, and xFIP, according to Fangraphs.
Meanwhile the Angels will be looking to add rotation depth this offseason. Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards, CJ Wilson, and Matt Shoemaker are locked in spots, but the remaining members of the rotation leave some question marks. Hector Santiago posted a solid 3.75 ERA in 2014, but his peripheral stats suggests a potential decline in 2015. #5 starter Nick Tropeano was recently acquired in the Hank Conger trade, but he has only four major-league starts to his name. Adding Scherzer would help solidify the Angels' staff.
Perhaps the biggest concern will be the finances involved in a Scherzer signing. While Passan suggests the Angels are willing to pay up for an elite starter, the team is already locked in contracts with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton that will pay north of $300 million over the next several years. Scherzer will likely land a long-term deal with whichever team he chooses, and the Angels have not had the best of luck with their recent signings of Pujols and Hamilton.