As new Angels GM Jerry Dipoto prepares for his first Winter Meetings as a general manager, Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times writes that he'll be under budgetary limitations. The Angels would like to keep their payroll around $140MM, meaning that Dipoto will have $15-$20MM to spend on shoring up three areas of need: a starting pitcher, a big bat, and a short reliever.
The Halos currently have an offer out to C.J. Wilson, and have also been linked to both Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Madson at various points in the past few weeks. DiGiovanna says that the rest of the Angels' offseason will likely hinge on the next move that is made.
Whichever hole (if any) Dipoto decides to fill via free agency, he also made it very clear that he's comfortable trading in this quote, relayed from DiGiovanna:
"Free agency is not foreign to me, but you're constantly exploring opportunities for trades…
the only other 2 1/2 -month period of time I did this job was right in the middle of trade deadline, so I'm very comfortable in it."
DiGiovanna speculates that Ervin Santana, Maicer Izturis, and Alberto Callaspo could become trade chips that would allow the Angels to pursue Ramirez even if they land Wilson. Santana will earn $11.2MM in 2012, while Izturis is under contract for $3.8MM and MLBTR's projections (courtesy of Matt Swartz) have Callaspo at $3.1MM.