The LA Angels got the offseason started off with a bang by resigning Justin Upton to a long-term deal. Friday’s moves will not make headlines, but are impactful nonetheless.
The LA Angels and general manager Billy Eppler know what they’re doing. The resigning of Upton has their entire starting lineup in place, with exceptions to second base and third base. Friday’s move were all about depth players.
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The Halos decided to decline club options on two pitchers. The first being Huston Street. Street joined the Angels in 2014. They acquired him at the trade deadline, and the closer finished the season with a 1.37 ERA. He owned a 3.18 ERA in 2015, but injuries eventually got to him in 2016, and kept him from playing nearly all of the 2017. At 34 years old, the Angels would have been paying Street $10 million next season.
The Angels, in a bit more of shocking news, also declined Ricky Nolasco‘s option. While he would have been paid $13 million in 2018, Nolasco was one of the few Halo pitchers who proved to be able to pitch an entire season. With so many injury questions riddled in the Halos bullpen, Nolasco would have been nice to keep around in 2018. However, it seems as if the Angels and Eppler are aiming for a big name to lure in free agency this season.
Three Halos also decided to enter free agency this season. Shane Robinson is the first, after appearing in 85 games for the Halos the past two seasons (20 in 2017). While his .178 average in that time isn’t impressive, he has shown potential with his .319 average in Triple-A this season. However, at age 33, Robinson is probably looking to make a major league roster for the 2018 season.
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Right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra also opted for free agency. In 19 games this season, he allowed a 4.68 ERA in 25 innings. His 7.9 hits per nine innings was not a great mark, as he rarely made an appearance without allowing a hit. He is entering his prime at 28 years old, and is looking for a club to take a chance on his abilities.
The final move of the day was Eric Young Jr. electing free agency. EY Jr. took every Halo fan’s heart with his admirable performance in Mike Trout‘s absence, mere months after the death of his newborn baby. Young Jr. has been a career journeyman, and can hopefully find somewhere that can either play him regularly or get him a ring.
The Angels didn’t sign or release a Justin Upton today, but these little moves are what Eppler specializes in. They are what makes a playoff team a World Series team. Stay tuned to Halo Hangout for all the offseason updates.