Even with Arte Moreno looking to sell the team, it’s turned out that the Los Angeles Angels had at least some money to play with. They could’ve done anything with that money, but have spent it differently than in years past.
Something the Angels have done consistently is sign the big star available. The contracts given to guys like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, CJ Wilson, and Anthony Rendon, among others all aged poorly.
The Angels have made three moves so far. The first move was signing Tyler Anderson to a three-year $39 million dollar deal. Giving up the second-round pick and $500,000 of international bonus money is very unfortunate with Anderson being attached to the Qualifying Offer, but the money here is incredibly cheap.
To tell you how cheap it really is, let’s compare it to the Raisel Iglesias contract. Iglesias signed a four-year $58 million dollar deal to remain in Los Angeles. He was always solid, but never a truly elite closer. He got an extra year and more money per year to be a one-inning reliever. Anderson even at his worst is an innings eater which provides value.
The next move the Angels made was trading for Gio Urshela. I’m still not the biggest fan of this trade, but he does solve the depth issue the Angels had in their infield last season. If an Anthony Rendon injury happens, they won’t be stuck with Matt Duffy at third base anymore. While I think he’s going to be at first base most of the time, he can play anywhere in the infield if needed.
The last move made was acquiring Hunter Renfroe in a trade with the Brewers. This trade was awesome as they got a really solid player and traded three players without much of a future with this team. Renfroe solves the corner outfield issue they had and is a guy they can plug right into the middle of the lineup.
Urshela is projected to make $9.2 million dollars with Renfroe projected to make $11.2 million dollars in arbitration this season. Both players will be free agents following the season.
Anderson at $13 million dollars for this season plus the Urshela and Renfroe contracts equal $33.4 million dollars. That’s enough money needed to spend for a year of one of the big shortstops or pitchers available.
If the Angels did that, they wouldn’t be able to improve the team as much as they had. Spreading the money around allows them to improve the team as a whole not just one position with a great player.
The Angels still have around $25 million dollars to spend before hitting the luxury tax. With Moreno looking to sell it’s highly unlikely he’d enter the tax but he might be willing to go right up to it. With more holes to fill, look for the Angels to continue to spread money around instead of signing a big name.