JAN. 13: The Angels have avoided arb with right fielder Kole Calhoun and right-handers Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker, reports Heyman (all Twitter links). Calhoun will earn a $6.35MM salary in his second trip through arbitration as a Super Two player, while Richards will earn $6.85MM and Shoemaker will receive $3.325MM.
That’s a slight bump over the $5.3MM that MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projected. Though Espinosa, 29, turned in a below-average overall offensive season last year, slashing .209/.306/.378, he did pop 24 home runs over his 601 plate appearances. That helped to drive a solid raise over Espinosa’s $2.875MM salary from 2016.
As he entered his final season of arb eligibility, Espinosa was dealt to the Halos from the Nationals — the only organization for which he has previously played. While it’s a fairly hefty salary for a player with his strikeout tallies, Espinosa is also regarded as a top-quality defender. That doesn’t pay in the arbitration process, but helps justify his earnings for the season to come.