This week the Angels signed pitcher Jose Quintana to a one year $8 million deal. That was on the heels of signing Kurt Suzuki for one year, Alex Claudio for one year, trading for one year each of Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias.
Also expiring at the end of next year is the largest contract in franchise history.
Could these be related? Taking a look at the Angels future salary obligations, you can see Perry Minasian having a lot more flexibility next October than he has now. Of course he’ll also have a lot of holes to fill. That combination gives him the chance to truly remake this team in his image, though, which has to be a major thrill for a General Manager.
Along with the names above, Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney are set to depart. By my math, this gives Minasian about $62 million in actual payroll dropping off the books after 2021 with another massive contract in Justin Upton due off the following year. Raises for Upton and Rendon do eat into that windfall by a sizable $13 million, though.
Perhaps Minasian is having his cake a little bit and eating it too. This is my take, that he’s improving the team for 2021, getting to know his prospects and keeping his options wide open for 22.
Fangraphs pegs Quintana as under rated and really likes the pickup for the Angels. I tend to agree.
And a bullpen that led the league in blown saves last year has a new anchor in Raisel Iglesias, who is really freaking good.
Most importantly, there are still far more pitchers of both the starting and relief variety than likely landing spots in a Covid depressed free agent market place. I’d be shocked if Perry is done.
The Angels are apparently a suitor for Brad Hand, for example, and plenty of notable yet less expensive arms like Mark Melancon, Justin Wilson, and Jake McGee are still out there.
And rumors still persist the Angels are in the hunt for Trevor Bauer. I think the team that stole our logo gets him, but wouldn’t mind being wrong.
If Minasian is looking forward a bit, here’s what he’s eyeing. Lots of elite level talent at shortstop and a sneaky good pitching class led by Thor but with a nice second tier of Stroman, Bundy, Gausman, and Davies.
Another way to look at that list is for trades. Not all of those names will be on contending teams in 2020 so renting one for the last half of the year, should the Angels be in playoff contention, will likely come at a more palatable price and with a better understanding of the chips in Perry’s war chest.
You can add the Toronto Blue Jays to the list of teams that aren’t waiting around. First they took a shot on Kirby Yates returning to form then signed George Springer to a massive 6 year $150 million deal. They even mixed in Tyler Chatwood.
It would be foolish for Toronto to think they will get 2017 titan George Spring who was second on the Astros in total trash can bangs. But he is still a quality player. Where does this put Toronto in the AL East?
Blue Jays fans are happy, Mets fans are bummed but maybe they shouldn’t be. Well, at least not sad about Springer, there are much larger reasons to be sad in Mets-land.
While the market is starting to pick up, the likely landing spots for Masahiro Tanaka seem to be dwindling. I’m setting myself up for a buttercup here, aren’t I?
Several teams sent scouts to watch Anibal Sanchez and Julio Teheran pitch in a showcase. Minasian should be familiar with both as they were both Braves in the recent future. Not sure if the Angels were in attendance.
As for the long form reading to enjoy on this drizzly weekend, let’s take a look back at Donnie Moore’s complicated life. This one won’t put a smile on your face, but it will stick with you and give you a greater understanding of a man we so often reduce to one pitch.