Five postseason free agents …

James ShieldsThe Angels figure to have less than $10 million of wiggle room below the luxury-tax threshold, which has pretty much been their spending limit the last few years, and general manager Jerry Dipoto has indicated his preference to avoid the free-agent market, particularly when it comes to starting pitchers (offseason preview here). But that doesn’t mean he’ll rule it out entirely, and it also means there are five players currently in the postseason who may be intriguing to the Angels this winter.

They’re listed below, along with a 1-through-5 score of the Angels’ potential interest (1 meaning they like him but realize they won’t stand a chance; 5 meaning they’ll go after him aggressively) …

SP James Shields (KCR): The Angels would love to get their hands on a guy like Shields, who has averaged 233 innings and a 3.17 ERA over the last four years. But he’s going to be way too expensive. C.J. Wilson‘s five-year, $77.5 million deal has been used as a comp. Even that’s too expensive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone gave him more.
Intrigue meter: 1

RP Andrew Miller (BAL): The Angels have navigated through the last couple seasons without a reliable lefty in their bullpen, and Miller, 29, has reinvented himself as one of the best lefty relievers in the game, posting a 2.02 ERA, a 14.9 strikeout rate and a 0.80 WHIP during the regular season. He’s good enough that someone will probably give him a chance to close, and if that’s the case, the Angels won’t be able to compete for his services.
Intrigue meter: 3

SP Jake Peavy (SFG): The 33-year-old right-hander is an interesting one to watch. He stayed healthy enough to throw 202 2/3 innings with a 3.73 ERA this season, and posted a 2.17 ERA in 78 2/3 innings with the Giants. He’s as fiery a competitor as they come, and he’ll be a lot more affordable than Shields.
Intrigue meter: 4

SP Ryan Vogelsong (SFG): If the Angels are looking for a cheap, back-of-the-rotation option, Vogelsong could be a perfect fit. He signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Giants for 2014, then posted a 4.00 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and a 2.60 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Not great, but as a fifth starter, an additional option along with Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Wilson? Not bad, either.
Intrigue meter: 3

3B/2B Kelly Johnson (BAL): The Angels need a utility infielder who can play shortstop, and Johnson can’t. He plays third and second, two positions the Angels have filled. But at some point, they may not be, if Dipoto is looking for avenues to free up payroll space. David Freese, set to make about $6 million in his last year before free agency, could be non-tendered. Same for Gordon Beckham, who plays second, third and short but will cost about $5 million via the arbitration process. Howie Kendrick, making $9.5 million in the final year of his contract, could be trade bait. And that’s when Johnson, who batted .215/.296/.362 in 106 games, could emerge as a cheap depth option.
Intrigue meter: 2

Alden

14 Comments

Couldn’t the Angels trade Howie Kendrick for starting pitching like they also did last year? Also let David Freese leave as a free agent and let Luis Jimenez be the starting 3B to save money either for SP on the offseason.

Gotta keep Kendrick an 2B! jiminez a good option at 3B over Freese. Let him have a season to prove he is a major leaguer

But Jimenez is not a major leaguer. Nice guy… better than average player at triple-A, but he is not a championship team third-bagger. Let’s deal in reality.

David Freese is not a free agent. He is still arbitration eligible, meaning that the Angels would have to non-tender him.

Would rather keep Freese (didn’t have a great year, but neither did Pujols or Hamilton their first year) Would rather see them TRADE Hamilton…he’s just not working out here…Howie is good, but not great….WE NEED PITCHING…we don’t need anymore stars in the field WE NEED PITCHING…maybe the problem with the Angels is too many stars in the field positions….Matthews Jr. Abreu, and Vernon Wells ring any bells….loudly….WE NEED PITCHING!!

You can’t trade Hamilton– he has a no trade contract. They could see of there is a taker on Wilson and use the freed up money to go after Shields.

trade CJ Wilson he is no good send him back to Texas

If they trade Howie they will go with Grant Green at second. They may be better off it means enough money to add Shields and Miller. I see the Angels going with Beckham OR Freese– not both. Losing one frees up more money. Losing Kendrick and Freese would save them 15 million (added to 10 M available budget) and would give the Angels 25 million to spend.

Trading Howie would send the Halos 2 steps backwards, not to mention the fallout from the fans. Trade Freeze, keep Becham, and hope Hamilton, breaks his contract by falling off the wagon. His arrogance is only matched by Bonds, but Bonds could smash a baseball.

Whats ur take on possible trade of calhoun for possible 2nd or 3rd string pitcher? i love calhoun and would rather trade him than howie…

The angels need pitching help.how about a back ss

Getting a better pitching coach would be a step in the right direction. ……….somehow some way CJ needs to move in with Hamilton. What possessed Artie to acquire those two, is beyond logic…….I made that statement in 2012, and stand by my opinion. Marquee hasbeens/bordering on never was! Developing Rasmus is a good solution. Shields and Miller are way over related. Angels need to pay. More attention to Don Baylor. Shields didn’t beat us with pitching.. Except ,for Calhoun, Howie, Aybar, and C Ianetta, there was no run support for Poor Weave, or Shoemaker. Blame the offense not the pitching staff!

………..p.s. Agreed, CJ has always been overrated as well!

Here is what I think the angels should so this offseason:
First, resign Gordon Beckham. He did well after he came to the angels. Freese didn’t do well and has seemed to has lost his magic he had a few seasons ago. Beckham is a better defender and has more potential with the bat. I would love to see what Don Baylor could do with him after a full spring training. Plus, he saves the angels a little money.

Second, trade Howie Kendrick. I love Howie just as much as any other halo fan, but all good things have to come to an end. You need to part with him while he has value, and it would add almost 10 million in cap room. A dream trade would be Howie Kendrick for Alex Cobb from the rays but I’m sure the rays would want more than just Howie. 2B is a premium position that quite a few teams need help with and someone as good as Howie at his price tag is something that could give the Halos a good young SP they need.

Third, sign Andrew Miller and a SP. Miller is the lefty specialist we desperately need. We do not need shields! Too old and too expensive. The best bet is to sign a decent veteran to a one or two year contract. Someone like a Brandon McCarthy or a Jason hammel. Shields is going to demand at least a 4 year deal and that is not something the angels need. A solid veteran to get you through the Richards and Skaggs injuries is what we need. CJ is older and had a terrible year but no one will trade for him. The angels need to hold on to him and hope he can bounce back to up his value. Trading him now would be pointless. We would get nothing in return and have to eat up a lot of his contract.

That is my idea of a decent plan for the angels this offseason. It could be terrible or it just might work but who knows.

-John S

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