The Angels came to terms with their last arb-eligible player by signing Erick Aybar to a one-year, $5.075 million deal on Tuesday. While it’s not the multi-year deal some fans were hoping for, GM Jerry Dipoto claims he will continue to work on an extension. Much like double play partner Howie Kendrick, Aybar had his career year in 2011 according to every version of WAR(P).
Aybar, 28, set single season bests with 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases to go with a .279/.322/.421 line. He also won his first Gold Glove at shorts stop because Derek Jeter was sick of them cluttering his cabinet space. The advanced defensive metrics are scattered on Aybar and I don’t believe in Gold Gloves but it seems like something an arbitrator would love.
If Aybar chooses to test the free agent waters, he’ll likely be the best short stop on the market and in for a big pay day. The 2012 projections are eerily similar. Bill James has 8 HR, 26 SB and a .274/.320/.390 line. ZiPS has 8 HR, 24 SB and a .275/.320/.392 line. He’ll probably be in line for another GG since they usually come in runs. Even with some money coming off the books, I doubt the Angels would want to get into a bidding war for Aybar next winter.
I’m rooting for an extension and dealing with a middle infield logjam once prospect Jean Segura proves he’s ready. I’m obsessed with spending Arte Moreno’s money.