At the end of October, MLB Trade Rumors published this little ditty concerning the Angels arbitration eligible payers. Within the article was a list of players that looked a little something like this:
Mark Trumbo – $4.7MM
Jerome Williams – $3.9MM
Tommy Hanson – $3.9MM
Ernesto Frieri – $3.4MM
Kevin Jepsen – $1.4MM
Juan Gutierrez – $1.1MM
Peter Bourjos – $1.1MM
Chris Nelson – $1MM
David Freese – $4.4MM
What was a group of players that were being estimated to receive $20.5MM combined through arbitration, has shrunk down to four players who are projected to receive $13.9MM through arbitration. Who doesn’t love a good holiday deal? And, let’s not forget, Trumbo was close to being traded a mere week ago. That number could still shrink down.
The only player that leads me to scratch my head a little bit, is Jepsen. And this tweet from Garrett Wilson of Monkey With A Halo really sums up “why.”
Looks like it is going to be another year of Scioscia showing way too much faith in Jepsen. Can't wait.
— Garrett Wilson (@Garrett_MWAH) December 2, 2013
Kevin Jepsen throws hard. Very hard. And with movement to boot. But, let’s be honest, by a show of hands, who is entirely comfortable whenever he steps onto the mound? Yeah, that’s what I thought. This may be the year where I buy stock in Tums before the season. Could be a winner, guys. Could be a winner.
As Shaylee pointed out last night, The Angels are saving something in the neighborhood of $10MM by not tendering contracts to Williams, Hanson and Nelson. Add in the arbitration of Freese, though, and they are saving roughly $6.6MM based on the projections by MLB Trade Rumors. According to Alden Gonzalez, this gives the Angels about $15MM worth of wiggle room before hitting the luxury tax threshold.
But don’t get too excited over that number. Over the past few days, Phil Hughes signed a contract for an $8MM AAV and Scott Kazmir (Yeah, same guy) signed a contract with an AAV of $11MM. Expect Howie Kendrick and his $9.25MM salary to become a hot topic in the coming weeks.