The Angels have had a starting right fielder that they can rely on since 2013 in Kole Calhoun. Although his hitting has been a roller coaster, his defense has been stellar.
So now the Angels made the tough decision on Kole Calhoun and whether to exercise his 14 million dollar option they have for 2020 or let him walk away with the consolation prize of a two million dollar buyout. The decision was made Monday not to exercise the $14 million dollar option. It was not surprising
If it was just based on his numbers at the plate it would be an easy decision . Despite hitting 71 homers and driving in 201 runs over the past three seasons Calhoun’s .229 batting average and 429 strikeouts (143 per season) and an OBP of .311 are not acceptable for the money he was making.
However, if you add in his Gold Glove defensive work (.986 fielding percentage) and cannon for a right arm (25 assists) plus his leadership in the clubhouse and now you may get why this wasnot such a cut-and-dry decision for the Angels.
With top prospect Jo Adell knocking at the door it made sense the Angels made the move toward youth and let Calhoun walk away and use the 14 million to help sign some much needed starting pitching. It might have been better for Calhoun to mentor Adell once he is called up and sort of ease him into the majors instead of throwing him out there and saying ‘sink or swim young man’. However, the Angels did not believe that was important enough to keep Kole.
Yes, the Angels have a stop-gap in fourth outfielder from 2019, Brian Goodwin who could start the year as the starting right fielder or even platoon with Adell at that spot until he is ready to take it outright. This is now what the Angels are faced with unless they sign someone else this off-season.
Calhoun is a fan-favorite and whoever comes in after him and does not produce the fans will let that player (even Adell) have it. So this is an interesting conodrum to be in for the Angels.
There is a slim possibility Door #3 option the Angels could explore if Calhoun is willing, they could try to bring him back on a lesser contract maybe like five to seven million (which is essential three to five million more than his buyout of two million dollars).
I believe the Angels did not exercise their club option for Calhoun for financial reasons, but I think they will attempt to work out a lesser deal for him. I don’t think that deal will end up getting done, but I think they will at least entertain that possibility and see where it goes.
Good Luck Kole! Whatever ends up happening it has been a pleasure to watch you with the Angels through the good times and the bad. If this is the end know you will be missed.