"That's been the public commentary, the general vibe, that we're a very good team with the ability to compete for a
The Angels have done just that with their late-night trade of veteran second baseman
The Angels are younger, deeper, cheaper and more athletic than they were at the end of the 2014 season, when they went 98-64 and were swept by Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs.
And Dipoto has assembled enough young starting pitchers that should enable the Angels to remain competitive and retain financial flexibility through the end of the decade.
"The goal is to get younger, better, more cost-effective, to put yourself in a position to sustain winning," Dipoto said. "It's not to get a bunch of guys that everybody has heard of all the time and run them out there and let it flame out.
"Our main focus is to win as many games as we can next year, but our duty, as custodians of the organization, is to make sure it lasts."
To do that, the Angels need to acquire and develop strong young players whose low salaries offset those of first baseman Albert Pujols, who has seven years and $189 million remaining on his contract, left fielder
Remember that 2013 rotation of Weaver (age 30), Wilson (32),
Weaver and Wilson will each make $18 million in 2015, but the rotation will feature breakout stars Richards, who is projected to make $4 million in his first year of arbitration, and
Heaney, the 23-year-old left-hander who was Miami's top prospect, is expected to win the fifth spot and make the major league minimum of $500,000.
The Angels will have left-hander
The rotation could get younger in 2016 when
With a strong stable of young pitchers, the Angels could let Weaver and Wilson go after 2016 and have a competitive rotation for about $25 million in 2017.
Two core offensive players, outfielders Trout (23) and Kole Calhoun (27), are young, as are the players who will compete for the second-base job, Grant Green (27) and Josh Rutledge (25), who was acquired from Colorado on Wednesday night.
The biggest holes in the lineup are the cleanup spot and second base. The Angels trimmed $9 million by trading Kendrick, and they're now about $15 million below the $189-million luxury tax threshold. But Kendrick, a .293 hitter over nine seasons, is also a durable line-drive machine who will be missed.
Bounce-back seasons from Hamilton and third baseman
The Angels led the
The savings from the Kendrick trade will fuel speculation that the Angels will pursue a high-priced ace such as