The LA Angels are expected to be major players in free agency this winter, so let’s take a look at what contracts they already have under their belt, and find out how much money they truly have to play with.
Now, while we can’t tell exactly how much the LA Angels will be spending for 2020 yet, we can make an educated guess towards it. Let’s start by breaking down the guaranteed contracts for 2020.
The Angels only have money tied up to five players going into next year. Those five – Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons, and Zack Cozart – will combine to make $113,666,668 dollars next season. Angels fans are clamoring for Upton to be traded, and while unlikely, the Angels could get below $100 million in payroll if they do deal the former All Star.
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After those five, the Angels have a $14 million option on Kole Calhoun‘s contract. Despite a comeback season, it’s unlikely they pick that option up. While renegotiating with Calhoun on a cheaper deal is definitely possible, the Angels won’t be paying him $14 million next year.
So, yeah, the Angels will have a lot of money to spend. Obviously they still have their arbitration eligible players (13 of those) to pay, along with their pre-arbitration players (Felix Pena, Dillon Peters, and Noe Ramirez). However, those are very small dents in the overall finances of running a major league club.
Per Spotrac, the Angels have an estimated $70 million in luxury cap space ($208 million). However, over the past few years, the Angels have sat around $170 million for their total team payroll. So while they won’t $70 million, Billy Eppler will have roughly $50 million if they decline Kole Calhoun’s option.
And while that may not seem like much, especially with the Angels’ expected pursuit of Gerrit Cole and other big name starting pitchers, it’s a very strong number for Eppler to work with. There’s also ways for the team to find ways to save money, whether that is trading players away or reworking contracts.
There’s also the possibility of Arte Moreno stretching how much he spends on the team. Last season, Billy Eppler was able to convince Moreno of doing that in order to sign Cody Allen.
However, whether they shed contracts or not, there is no excuse this offseason. This team has the money to be in contention for the best of the best in free agency. Billy Eppler has to be feeling the heat right now, and he’ll have all the ammunition needed to win over Arte Moreno and the fanbase this offseason.