2) Contract the Angels can dump: David Fletcher
After the shortened 2020 season where David Fletcher had a 120 OPS+ while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense, the Angels extended him on a five-year $26 million dollar contract. At the time this looked like a steal, as it bypassed all of his arbitration years and at least one free agency year on relatively cheap money.
The problem with this contract is Fletcher has struggled mightily offensively and this past season, struggled to stay on the field as well.
The reason the Angels would want to trade Fletcher is simple. He's making $6 million dollars in each of the next two seasons and $6.5 million dollars in 2025. He then has two club options worth $8 million and $8.5 million dollars respectively. The money he's making he's just not worth.
Fletcher is well below average offensively. He makes contact but doesn't hit the ball hard, doesn't hit for any power, and relies a lot on just finding holes and hitting singles. Fletcher is also not as good of a defender at shortstop, the position he's pencilled in to play right now, as he is at second base, the spot currently occupied by Luis Rengifo.
Fletcher's contract will be harder to move in my opinion because there're three more guaranteed years and is not good enough to be a full-time starter in the infield. Maybe a team that's solid enough offensively to have Fletcher be their number nine hitter can use his defense at second base as a reason to justify playing him every day, but the Angels need to upgrade at shortstop.
I love Fletcher and his small ball playing style, but he's just not good enough to warrant his contract or justify playing him every day, especially at shortstop.
3) Contract the Angels can dump: Ryan Tepera
Ryan Tepera had a down year in 2022. His strikeouts took a huge dip from 13.5 K/9 in 2020 to 10.9 K/9 in 2021 all the way down to 7.4 K/9 in 2022. He had a 3.61 ERA which is not bad but his 4.21 FIP suggests he got a little bit lucky there. He walked 20 batters in 57.1 innings pitched which is too many, and he just didn't look nearly as good as he did while pitching for both Chicago teams in 2021.
Tepera didn't lose much velocity wise but failed to generate the same level of whiffs on his two best pitches. I hope for a bounce back, but feel more confident in someone like Aaron Loup bouncing back.
A team like the Mets who has virtually their entire bullpen to rebuild could potentially be interested in Tepera? The Halos might have to attach a lower level prospect because $7 million dollars is an overpay for Tepera, but this could be a way the Halos clear money.
Relievers are extremely volatile and Tepera could very easily bounce back and be the reliever he was that the Angels were happy to sign. It's just hard to rely on him after the season he just had.
The most ideal situation, of course, would be for the Angels to spend the money on a shortstop without sending an asset away just to dump a bad contract. If they were to dump a contract, I think these three players make a lot of sense.