Why the Angels should NOT re-sign Tommy La Stella
Of course, even if the Angels do complete their 2020 season, and La Stella plays well over his 50-plus games, it may not be as cut and try as relying on just his performance either.
In particular, age will play heavily in any negotiations with the would-be free agent. La Stella will be 32 when he plays the first season of his next contract, and while his breakout has been impressive, his chances of maintaining that as he crests his prime will be lower.
There is also the question of cost. If his performance is maintained in 2020, he’ll have a certain level of market appeal across the league. Infielders with a solid glove, positional versatility, and a mid-level bat are highly valued on the open market. Coupled with the fact that he wouldn’t receive a qualifying offer, and there could be a bidding war for his services.
The Angels already have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and, as in every offseason, need to address their starting pitching with any available funds they may have. They also have similar decisions to make in regard to Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, and Jason Castro.
If Simmons remains, then David Fletcher will be looking for a position. If Simmons leave, Fletcher becomes the obvious choice at shortstop, but then what of Luis Rengifo? There are also prospects on the way, with Jahmai Jones looming and the pair of Jeremiah Jackson and Kyren Paris a few years out.
The real decision comes down to if the Halos feel La Stella is in their long-term plans for second base. If they are not looking to commit to a long-term deal and don’t want to meet his asking price, La Stella may very well find himself in a new uniform again in 2021.