What next for the Los Angeles Angels after avoiding arbitration with five players?

Prior to the deadline on Friday for the exchange of arbitration data, the Los Angeles Angels decided not to pursue arbitration with five of their eight eligible players. MLB players eligible for arbitration have until Friday to negotiate agreements with their respective organizations for the upcoming season. If they cannot agree, they will go to arbitration, where a neutral arbitrator will decide the player’s pay for the upcoming season.

Due to two deals the organization made this offseason, the Angels currently have eight players that are arbitration eligible. To avoid arbitration, they have so far reached agreements with five players. Here are all the deals so far:

  • Patrick Sandoval: $2.75 million
  • Taylor Ward: $2.75 million
  • Jared Walsh: $2.65 million
  • Jaime Barria: $1.05 million
  • Griffin Canning: $850 thousand

To agree, Los Angeles could not do so with infielders Gio Urshela, Luis Rengifo, and outfielder Hunter Renfroe. After the 2023 season, Renfroe and Urshela, acquired through trades this offseason, can sign with any team they choose as unrestricted free agents. Following a career year, Rengifo is eligible for arbitration for the first time.

Renfroe was expected to receive about $11 million in the arbitration, whereas Urshela was expected to receive about $9 million. According to a source, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was informed that Renfroe had filed for $11.9 million, the Angels had countered with $11.25 million, Urshela had filed for $10 million, and the team had filed for $8.4 million.

With those players, the Los Angeles Angels might be headed for arbitration hearings, but there isn’t anything in the contract that forbids them from reaching an agreement in advance of the hearing. Since Brian Goodwin’s victory in his arbitration case against the Angels in 2020, the team hasn’t had a hearing with a player.

In contrast to the $1.85 million Los Angeles Angels offered, he received a $2.2 million prize that year. The Angels won the lawsuit the last time before that in 2011 with pitcher Jered Weaver.

On October 1, the Los Angeles Angels signed superstar Shohei Ohtani to a one-year, $30 million contract, preventing them from going through arbitration. Following the 2023 season, Ohtani will be a free agent.

Los Angeles Angels are still looking for a sixth-starting pitcher

The rumor is that the Angels are still looking for a sixth-starting pitcher. They have been exceedingly aggressive in their hunt for a new starter and targeted some of the best pitchers. They haven’t been able to acquire another starter since signing All-Star LHP Tyler Anderson to a three-year, $39 million contract early in the free-agent period.

Although the market has largely dried up, RHP Michael Wacha remains a solid option. He has been connected to the Angels throughout the winter, and on Wednesday, MLB insider Jon Morosi repeated the claim.

Wacha might make sense for various reasons, but his right-handed throwing motion might be the most important. Except for Shohei Ohtani, the Angels rotation is entirely made up of lefties. A bit more variety would be helpful, and Wacha is coming off a season in which he went 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA while pitching for the Boston Red Sox.

Wacha is unquestionably the finest starting left on the market. Thus the Los Angeles Angels aren’t the only team vying for his services. Additionally listed by Morosi as possible destinations for the right-hander are the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, and Minnesota Twins. Wacha would make the ideal fourth starter in the Angels’ rotation. Thus, they should be proactive in their pursuit of him.


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