Can Joe Beimel Fit in the Angels’ Stocking?


Jerry Dipoto has done a remarkable job acquiring valuable depth at various positions of need this offseason. The infield has been shored up in recent weeks, the Angels brought in a few viable options for the outfield, and Dipoto has added a couple of high upside young arms to the starting rotation. The Angels already have plenty of capable right-handed relievers out in the bullpen, but they are noticeably lacking in lefties. Perhaps the final item left on the Halos wish list this holiday season is a left-handed specialist. Joe Beimel is the right man for the job.

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The Halos struck a deal this past November with the Tampa Bay Rays for versatile southpaw Cesar Ramos. This move helped solidify the Angels bullpen, but apart from Ramos there are very few reliable lefties out in the Halos ‘pen. Ramos does a lot of things well, and has the ability to be a long man, middle reliever, or set-up man next season in the big A. However, the Angels are still in need a lefty specialist, a pitcher who comes in just to face one or two left-handed hitters late in ballgames.

Joe Beimel was out of baseball between 2011 and 2014, but this past season he made a triumphant return to the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners. The bearded southpaw has not generated much interest on the open market this winter, but that has little to do with his production last season in the Pacific Northwest.

Jun 9, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Joe Beimel (97) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Beimel had an impressive debut season with the Mariners in 2014, going 3-1 and posting an ERA of 2.20. Beimel allowed a career low 7.8 hits per 9 innings. Beimel tallied 5.0 strikeouts per 9 innings, which was right on par with his career average. He demonstrated improved command in 2014, allowing just 2.8 walks per 9 innings, the second lowest mark of his career. The 37-year-old southpaw’s strikeout to walk ratio was 1.79 with the Mariners. Beimel excelled at keeping the opposition off base, allowing a career low 1.178 walks or hits per inning.

Make no mistake; Joe Beimel is a left-handed specialist. While his season numbers may not jump off the page, his splits against left-handed batters are nothing to scoff at. Beimel held opposing left-handed batters to an average of .188 across 80 at bats. His strikeout to walk ratio went from 0.67 against right-handers to a whopping 8.50 against lefties. Beimel held opposing left-handed batsmen to a slugging percentage of just .288. The M’s consistently brought Beimel in to face their opponents top lefties late in games.

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I believe Joe Beimel is just the guy the Halos are searching for. While skeptics will suggest 2014 was a one off for the aging southpaw, I would argue he rediscovered the form that made him a dominant reliever as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers from ’06 to ’09. Beimel would not be a flashy signing, but he would likely be a bargain buy. There does appear to be mutual interest in a reunion between the M’s and Beimel, but talks do not seem to be progressing. It would likely take a one-year deal worth around $3 million dollars, with a club option for a second year tacked on.

Joe Beimel would be a very low risk signing for the Angels. If he could produce similar results to last year, Beimel would be a steal. At the very least, Beimel’s luxurious black beard would rival Matt Shoemaker for the best use of facial hair on the club.