Offseason Outlook: Los Angeles Angels

Next up in our Offseason Outlook series, the Angels.  Here’s how their 25-man roster might look using only internal candidates:

C – Mike Napoli – $425K
C – Jeff Mathis – $415K
1B – Kendry Morales – $600K
2B – Howie Kendrick – $433K
SS – Erick Aybar – $415K
3B – Brandon Wood – $400K
IF – Maicer Izturis – $1.2MM+
IF/OF – Robb Quinlan – $1.05MM+
LF – Chone Figgins – $4.75MM+
CF – Torii Hunter – $17.5MM
RF – Gary Matthews Jr. – $10MM
OF – Reggie Willits – $433K
DH/OF – Vladimir Guerrero – $15MM (club option)

SP – John Lackey – $9MM (club option)
SP – Ervin Santana – $420K+
SP – Jered Weaver – $435K
SP – Joe Saunders – $425K
SP – Dustin Moseley – $420K

RP – Scot Shields – $5MM
RP – Jose Arredondo – $400K
RP – Justin Speier – $4.75MM
RP – Jason Bulger – $400K
RP – Kevin Jepsen – $400K
RP – Darren O’Day – $400K
RP –

Other commitments: Garret Anderson – $3MM, Kelvim Escobar – $9.5MM (ready by All-Star break?)

That’s about $87MM committed, plus arbitration raises to Izturis, Quinlan, Figgins, and Santana.  So that’ll put them in the low $90MM range.  The Angels were at $124MM this year.  Owner Arte Moreno wants to keep payroll there, but could make exceptions for the right players.  We’ll say they have at least $30MM to spend, maybe more.

Three star players/free agents should be under consideration: Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez, and C.C. Sabathia.  Teixeira makes the most sense, especially since Morales’ ’08 minor league line translates to a .740 OPS in the bigs.  Given their .330 team OBP, the Angels could really use Tex’s .400.

Losing both K-Rod and Darren Oliver would hurt the pen; the Angels will probably bring in some kind of veteran help.  With Escobar slated to miss a good chunk of ’09, one more starter is also needed.  It’d be tough to cram Tex and Sabathia into the budget, but the free agent market offers plenty of other starters.

I know the Angels have their own run-scoring style, but it’s hard to argue against getting on base more often.  With that in mind I’d make Tex top priority.  With the DH spot semi-open, I’d also consider Milton BradleyBrian Giles, Adam Dunn, Magglio Ordonez, Jason Giambi, Prince Fielder, Bobby Abreu, and Pat Burrell are other big names who get on base.  (Manny Ramirez fits as well, though it’d have to be him instead of Teixeira rather than both).

$30-40MM is a lot of spending money, though $20MM+ (’09 salary) could go toward Teixeira or Sabathia.  I might take my chances with the fifth starter job and bring in Teixeira and another high-OBP player.

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