In the previous decade, a culture of winning was established in Anaheim. The Angels qualified for the postseason six times in the last 11 years (which included a memorable World Series title run in 2002).
But after missing the playoffs in 2010 and 2011, the direction of the team began to come under question. Angels owner Arte Moreno took action and parted ways with the team's longtime general manager Tony Reagins. In his place, Moreno hired ex-Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Jerry Dipoto on October 28, 2011.
Dipoto's first and most important responsibility as new general manager was to bring the Angels franchise back to relevance.
And the new GM wasted little time doing so. His 2011 offseason signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson (on the same day) shocked the baseball world and immediately thrust the Angels into the limelight. Within months of being hired, Dipoto appeared to pull off the unthinkable by managing to land (what most considered to be) the best two free agents of the year.
However, results did not follow.
The Angels scuffled early in the 2012 season and missed the playoffs after finishing in third place in the highly competitive A.L. West.
Coming off a season that was classified by many as a complete failure, Dipoto put his thinking cap on and went back to work. In the offseason, he declined expensive options for Ervin Santana, Dan Haren and Torii Hunter.
As a result, the Angels' coffers were full enough to make another big splash in free agency.
In December of 2012, the team signed perennial MVP-candidate Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract.
With a formidable batting lineup that featured Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the team appeared to join a short list of World Series contenders.
However, the team's start to the 2013 season has been less than stellar.
The Angels currently have a 4-9 record and find themselves tied for last place in the A.L. West with the lowly Houston Astros (who have a 2013 payroll that is $106 million lower than the Angels'). They are already 5.5 games behind the division-leading Oakland Athletics.
Missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season could possibly lead to the end of the Scioscia/Dipoto era in Anaheim.
The following slideshow reveals three moves that Angel's general manager Jerry Dipoto should consider in an effort to right the sinking ship.
*All statistics are courtesy of baseball-reference.com
With a cumulative 4.90 ERA through the first 12 games of the season, the Angels pitching staff ranks fourth worst in all of baseball.
They could certainly use some help, especially in the bullpen.
Having said that, the Angels should consider reuniting with free-agent Francisco Rodriguez.
The player better known as "K-Rod" had some of his most dynamic years in Anaheim, where he set the all-time single season saves record in 2008 with 62. From 2005-08, the four-time All-Star saved 194 games for the Angels and never ended a season with an ERA higher than 2.81.
Since his departure to the New York Mets in 2009, K-Rod's career has hit the skids. A decreasing strikeouts-per-inning rate coupled with an increasing walks-per-inning rate saw the once-dynamic closer struggle to finish games.
In 2011, Rodriguez was moved to the Milwaukee Brewers where he eventually lost the closer role to teammate John Axford.
Although not the pitcher he once was, Rodriguez could fit nicely with the Angels in middle relief.
With closer Ryan Madson still on the mend from Tommy John surgery, the Angels bullpen has been struggling mightily. Scott Downs, Kevin Jepson and Mark Lowe have been anemic for the Halos, sporting 9.00, 9.92 and 7.94 ERA's respectively.
As a unit last year, Angels relievers blew 22 saves and had a collective ERA of 3.97, ranking third worst in the AL.
This year's club appears to be heading down a similar path.
Regardless of how dynamic the offense has the potential to be, if the bullpen doesn't pull itself together at least somewhat, the Angels may be in for another long season.
With an apparent lack of interest league-wide in Rodriguez at the moment, general manager Jerry Dipoto would be wise to look into signing the 31-year-old right-hander from Venezuela.
A potential K-Rod signing appears to be low-risk/high-reward for the last place Angels.
With Jared Weaver reportedly out for 4-6 weeks with a broken left elbow, general manager Jerry Dipoto should look to the cross-town rival Dodgers for help.
Chris Capuano, a late-blooming left-hander, has been the odd man out in the Dodgers' rotation and would fit nicely in the hole created by Weaver's absence.
The 34-year-old Capuano is coming off a career-best 3.72 ERA as a starter. He pitched in 33 games last year, recording 12 wins and 162 strikeouts in the process.
Capuano has a finesse pitching style with a deceptive delivery. His primary pitches include a mid-to-upper 80's fastball, a slider and a changeup.
Capuano is also very good at deterring the running game of opponents. In 2005, he picked off an MLB-best 12 runners.
The veteran would fit nicely with an Angels squad that appears to be lacking leadership within its pitching ranks. Without Weaver, the starting rotation features only one other starting pitcher that was with the team last season (C.J. WIlson).
*Update: Zack Greinke's collarbone injury suffered during a benches-clearing brawl last week against the San Diego Padres will open a starting rotation spot for Chris Capuano.
Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia need to get together and give Hank Conger the shot that he deserves.
The 25-year-old backup catcher impressed everyone in the organization during spring training, hitting .387 with a team-best 15 RBI in 14 games.
However, his lapses on the defensive side of the ball cost him the starting job behind the plate. Conger made four errors in Cactus League games this spring and added another three errors in a Triple-A game just before the start of the season.
Manager Mike Scioscia opted to dub Chris Iannetta the starting catcher primarily due to his defensive ability to stop the running game of opposing teams.
While Iannetta began the season with two home runs in three games, he has since gone cold and is only batting .242.
It is time to give Hank Conger, who hits for average much better than Iannetta does, a fair shot at some quality playing time.
Conger would fit nicely in the bottom third of the batting order, setting the table for Mike Trout and the powerful Pujols/Hamilton combination to follow.
Although the Angels seem to have all the offense they will need to be successful this season, it does not appear that the chemistry is there early in the season.
The team currently sits at 4-9 and could benefit from shaking up the lineup.