Should The Los Angeles Angels Copy What The Tampa Bay Rays Did?

By Jason Evans

First and foremost, happy new year to each and every one of you reading this. Now let’s get down to business. One of the things you may not hear to much about with the Angels next season, though it’s something to think about, is their payroll. Yes, they have their TV deal and combining that with the record MLB revenues, let’s just say they aren’t hurting for cash. However, they might be better off in taking a page out of the Tampa Bay Rays playbook.

Sep 22, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder

Mike Trout

(27) reacts before the game between the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Let me explain. According to Cot’s baseball contracts, the Angels already have $128 million committed to players for the 2014 season. Albert Pujols will see a $7 million raise from $16million to $23 million. C.J. Wilson will get a $5 million raise from $11.5 million to $16.5 million. They also already have $111 million committed for 2015, when Josh Hamilton gets a raise from $17.5 million to $24 million and Wilson gets another bump to $18 million.Here’s another issue. Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos become arbitration eligible after 2013 and Mike Trout becomes arbitration eligible after 2014. Those players will see a pretty good size increase in salary. If Trumbo has another 30 plus home run season and Bourjos can prove he’s a full-time outfielder he’ll get a nice raise, especially being a center fielder. If Trout continues to be Trout, he could set records for the first time around in arbitration.

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Evan Longoria and Matt Moore to team friendly contracts, in that they bought out some of their free agent and arbitration years, but gave them nice raises when they would be eligible to make the major league minimum.

I’m going to guess that the Angels won’t want to go over the $189 luxury tax at any point, and because of that, if guys like Trout and Trumbo again have big years and the team wants to keep them around, it may help to sign them to extensions after this upcoming season rather than waiting and getting stuck with escolating arbitration, especially when the team is committing $85 million to just four players in 2015.