ReJoyce! Angels Avoid Arbitration with Matt Joyce


Alden Gonzalez of broke the news on Monday that the Angels and outfielder/designated hitter Matt Joyce have agreed to terms on a new one-year deal worth $4.75 million dollars. Joyce’s arbitration hearing was set for later this month, but by signing the contract, both sides will be able to avoid going to court.

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Matt Joyce was arbitration eligible for the third and final time this offseason. The two sides exchanged figures last month. Joyce’s camp requested $5.2 million and the Angels countered with $4.2 million. The two parties ended up agreeing to $4.75 million, $50,000 over the mid point between the two numbers.

The Angels acquired Matt Joyce this past December from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen. The 30-year-old hit .254 with 9 home runs and 52 RBI’s over the course of 140 games with the Rays last season. Joyce posted an impressive .349 on base percentage last season, but saw his slugging percentage drop below .400 for the first time in his seven-year career. Joyce did not have a great campaign in 2014, but his career numbers suggest a rebound is possible this summer.

The Detroit Tigers originally selected Matt Joyce in the 12th round of the 2006 draft. After spending his rookie campaign in the Motown he was sent to Tampa and wore a Rays’ uniform for the last six seasons. Joyce has registered over 2,100 career at bats in the big leagues, posted a .250 career batting average, tallied 88 home runs and 313 RBI’s. His career .342 on base percentage and .441 slugging percentage are both very impressive.

Jul 30, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Matt Joyce (20) reacts as he points to his helment after he singled during the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tropicana Field. Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Joyce represented the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2011 mid summer classic. Angels’ General Manager Jerry Dipoto is hoping that a change of scenery can help Joyce rediscover the stroke that saw him post a .277 batting average, 19 home runs and 75 RBI’s in 2011. Joyce appears set to bat second in the vaunted Angels lineup, behind Kole Calhoun and in front of Mike Trout. Batting in front of the best hitter in baseball should allow Joyce to see plenty of juicy fastballs in 2015.

The Halos dealt for Matt Joyce to handle the designated hitter duties against right-handed pitching in 2015. However, with the recent injury to Josh Hamilton, Joyce may be called upon early in the season to fill in out in left field. The Seffner, FL product has proven himself to be a decent defender in left. The league average fielding percentage for left fielders in 2014 was .987; Joyce posted a .986 mark. His 2.01 range factor per 9 innings was 0.01 higher than the league average of 2.00.

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2015 is the last year of club control for Matt Joyce and he is set to hit the open market following this season. After a down year in 2014, this upcoming campaign will be the most important season in Joyce’s career. Hopefully, that translates to his best offensive output of his career.

Matt Joyce was the final arbitration eligible player unsigned with the Halos, so the Angels’ brass can now turn their full attention to the putting the finishing touches on what we all hope will be a World Series caliber roster. Joyce has the ability to do a lot of things for the Halos, and he is one of the more intriguing names in the Angels’ lineup entering 2015. Joyce will be a guy to watch closely this spring in Tempe.

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