Could Angels pitchers be non-tender candidates due to finances?

Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Matt Andriese, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Angels Non-Tender Candidate – Matt Andriese

The offseason trade to acquire Matt Andriese was an interesting one for the Angels. Picked up for a mid-level prospect from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the right-hander doesn’t exactly profile as big pick-up for the Halos.

Over five seasons in the league, the right-hander owns a lifetime record of 24-30 with a 4.58 ERA, and an 8.2 K/9. While his xFIP of 4.03 and his 46.3% groundball rate may indicate some potential upside, there are also question marks about his fit with the team.

Notably, he is listed on the team’s depth chart for starting pitchers, but over the course of 167 career games, he has made only 49 starts and averaged just 4.82 innings of work in those appearances. He owns a lifetime 4.62 ERA as a starter and has surrendered a .272/.321/.453 batting line as a member of the rotation.

That all begs the question of what his role will actually be in Anaheim. There is a chance that Maddon utilizes him as a swingman out of the bullpen or maybe in an opener/piggy-back situation. However, neither role really profiles of one that presents major value to a team outside of a shortened season. So while Andriese may have a home with the Angels in 2020, his role in 2021 is not guaranteed.

In just his second year of arbitration, Andriese avoided a hearing when he and the Diamondbacks agreed to a $1.395 million deal in January. He was traded to the Angels just four days later.

At the end of the day, Andriese’s chances of remaining with the Angels past the 2020 season will depend on what role he ultimately serves for the team. A set-up man with less than league average peripherals doesn’t necessarily excite much. However, if he is able to work his way back into the rotation and capture some of that potential he showed early on with the Rays, Andriese may be a cheap option in 2021.

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As mentioned prior, the fate of both Andriese and Heaney may be intertwined. Heaney likely gets the first shot to crack the rotation and prove he is both healthy and productive. However, if Heaney slips or suffers through more injuries, Andriese will be given a chance to capitalize. As a cheaper option in 2021, albeit one with less upside, he may have the inside track if both offer similar production.