In an unexpected turn of events, Angels reliever Aaron Loup has once again cleared his locker, marking the second time this month that such an occurrence has taken place. Loup’s unfortunate injury history has become all too familiar to Angels fans as he finds himself sidelined with a left shoulder strain, leaving his future with the team uncertain.
During his tenure in the City of Angels, Loup has made appearances in 120 games, maintaining a 4.86 ERA and a rather unimpressive win-loss record of 2-8 over the course of two years. This injury, occurring towards the end of the season, raises concerns about his ability to contribute effectively to the team in the coming seasons.
The Angels now face a pivotal decision regarding Loup’s future. They have the option to retain the 35-year-old reliever and exercise their team option for the next year, which would entail a salary commitment of $7.5 million. Alternatively, they could opt for a $2 million buyout, effectively making Loup an unrestricted free agent.
With fresh faces like Davis Daniel joining the Angels’ clubhouse, the team may have an opportunity to trim expenses and potentially pursue high-profile free agents during the offseason. Notable names like Blake Snell, Josh Hader, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are expected to hit the market. Acquiring any of these talents would signal the Angels’ commitment to achieving success alongside star player Mike Trout.
However, history suggests that such endeavors have yielded mixed results for the Angels in the past. The franchise previously made bold moves at the Trade Deadline, acquiring players like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Despite these efforts, they failed to secure a postseason spot.
The unfortunate aspect of Loup’s situation is that for some teams, the season is far from over, and his injury, while significant, might have allowed him to return to the roster before the postseason concluded. The team has no control over a player’s personal decisions, but ideally, players should strive to remain connected to the locker room, regardless of their injury status. Participating in rehabilitation at the team facility and providing moral support to teammates should be a priority. The Angels ought to be fighting for victories in October, rather than undertaking a locker room cleanup.
As the season draws to a close, the Angels find themselves at a crossroads, uncertain about the path they should take with Aaron Loup and the upcoming free agent market. The decisions made in the coming weeks will undoubtedly shape the team’s prospects for the seasons to come.