Here we go …


Angels pitchers and catchers take part in their first workout on Friday, position players follow five days later, and six days after that, we get some actual, real-life games. And in hopes of helping you get ready for all of that, I’ve provided some helpful links, roster breakdowns and financial info in this blog post.

A depth chart (listing all the players on the 40-man roster) is here. The full 40-man roster is here, the list of non-roster invitees is here and the Top 30 prospects are accounted for here. You can also see a list of the coaching staff and front office. Here you can find the schedule.

Below are some links to offseason stories to help get you caught up …

SimmonsGIFSpring Training previews

On the rebound
New faces
Prospects to watch
Camp’s biggest competition
Projected lineup, rotation, bullpen

Around The Horn

Corner infield
Middle infield


Pre-Spring Training Inbox
Charles Nagy on becoming the Angels pitching coach
Tyler Skaggs on what’s next
Runner-up finish a testament to Mike Trout’s greatness
Looking at how special Andrelton Simmons is defensively
Ron Roenicke on returning to the Angels
Bud Black on joining Roenicke in Orange County
A look at what can be expected of Albert Pujols
What it’s like to train Trout
Nava, Gentry, Alburquerque — three bounceback candidates
Why the Angels couldn’t get the LF they needed
How Billy Eppler became a GM
How Eppler and Mike Scioscia are getting along so far
Honduras holds a special place in Andrew Heaney’s heart
Hector Santiago trying to help out his hometown
Tim Salmon on the Angels’ lack of HoF representation
Bill Stoneman on his one trade regret, new (old) role
Bobby Scales on minority inclusion, Black History Month

The Angels dAngels Twins baseballon’t have many fans these days. Not in the media, at least. Passing up on a big bat has led to serious concerns about an offense that finished last year 20th in runs (despite employing baseball’s best all-around player) and now faces a much-improved American League West. Will Leitch of Sports On Earth, who has them fourth in the division, feels the Angels “look like a total mess.” David Schoenfield of, who had the Angels 20th in his power rankings, wrote, “I’m just not feeling this team.”

The projection tools aren’t very favorable, either …

And the farm-system rankings are far more pessimistic …

In the end, though, the players will decide.

And initially we’ll start with 60 of them.

Below, I categorized everyone reporting to Spring Training, with their jersey numbers in parenthesis so you could keep track a little easier. Before we look at the spots up for grabs and which players are looking to fill them, a few notes …

  • Asterisks are for 40-man-roster players who can not be optioned to the Minor Leagues, either without their consent or until being exposed to waivers. This applies to guys who are either out of options, Rule 5 Draft picks or have accumulated at least five years of Major League service time. (Hey, they can option Mike Trout!) Players who meet this criteria usually have a leg up in position battles — albeit slightly — because organizations want to preserve as much depth as possible for the inevitable roster turnover that takes place throughout a season.
  • Pound signs indicate players who are not on the 40-man roster, which is full. You’ll notice all the “Minor League depth” guys have that distinction. Something unforeseen would seemingly have to happen for any of those guys to crack the Opening Day roster.
  • Some of the players listed (alphabetically) under “competing” are probably going to crack the Opening Day roster regardless. That applies to Andrew Heaney (it would seemingly take an awful spring — kind of like the one he had last year — to not crack the rotation), Hector Santiago (he’ll either be in the rotation or the bullpen), Daniel Nava (lined up to get the majority of plate appearances in left field), Johnny Giavotella (presumed favorite at second base) and Jose Alvarez (likely a go-to lefty out of the bullpen).
  • Matt Shoemaker is also a bullpen candidate if he doesn’t win a rotation job. Geovany Soto and Carlos Perez will both make the team; still undecided is who gets the most starts behind the plate.
  • Albert Pujols, as you already know, is questionable for Opening Day after undergoing November surgery on his right foot. He isn’t slated to begin baseball activities until some point in March. If he does start the year on the DL, then four of the five competitors from the “left field/two bench spots” section will probably make the team, as opposed to three.
  • Cliff Pennington is also a candidate to get some at-bats at second base, though he’ll have to show more offensively than his .629 OPS the last two years.
  • Kyle Kubitza and Kaleb Cowart are listed as “prospects,” because, well, they still are. But I expect them to see time at different positions this spring, perhaps left field or first base. Kubitza even got some reps at second base last year.


Mariners Angels BaseballRotation

1st: Garrett Richards (43)
2nd: Jered Weaver (36)*
3rd: C.J. Wilson (33)*
4th: ???
5th: ???


CL: Huston Street (16)*
SU: Joe Smith (38)*
MR: Fernando Salas (59)*
MR: ???
MR: ???
MR: ???
LR: ???


C: ???
1B: Albert Pujols (5)*
2B: ???
3B: Yunel Escobar (6)*
SS: Andrelton Simmons (2)
LF: ???
CF: Mike Trout (27)
RF: Kole Calhoun (56)
DH: C.J. Cron (24)


C: Carlos Perez (58) / Geovany Soto (18)*
INF: Cliff Pennington (7)*
OF: ???
LHH: ???


Ji-Man Choi

Fifth starter

Andrew Heaney (28)
Hector Santiago (53)
Matt Shoemaker (52)
Tyler Skaggs (45)
Nick Tropeano (35)

Four bullpen spots

Al Alburquerque (62)
Jose Alvarez (48)
Cam Bedrosian (68)
Deolis Guerra (62)*
Mike Morin (64)
Cory Rasmus (46)*
Rob Rasmussen (57)

Second base

Johnny Giavotella (12)*
Rey Navarro (20)

Left field/two bench spots

Ji-Man Choi (51)*
Todd Cunningham (54)*
Craig Gentry (3)*
Daniel Nava (25)*
Rafael Ortega (39)


SP Victor Alcantara (86)
SP Tyler DeLoach (83)#
SP Kyle McGowin (84)#
Angels Rays Baseball SP Nate Smith (85)#
RP Greg Mahle (71)#
C Jett Bandy (47)
C Taylor Ward (99)#
SS Roberto Baldoquin (74)#
3B Kaleb Cowart (22)
2B Sherman Johnson (87)#
3B Kyle Kubitza (13)
2B Alex Yarbrough (81)#
OF Chad Hinshaw (69)#


SP Yunesky Maya (75)#
RP A.J. Achter (60)#
RP Javy Guerra (40)#
RP Lucas Luetge (44)#
RP Ramon Ramirez (49)#
C Juan Graterol (97)#
C Stephen McGee (96)#
C Michael Strentz (98)#
C Wade Wass (88)#
3B/1B Jefry Marte (19)#
INF Gregorio Petit (80)#
OF Quintin Berry (37)#
OF Nick Buss (72)#

Lastly, a look at the Angels’ projected Opening Day payroll. A reminder, this differs from the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) payroll, which is used to calculate where teams reside relative to that $189 million luxury-tax threshold we’ve basically spent the entire winter talking about. That CBT payroll, not calculated until the end of the year, uses the average annual value of all 40-man roster contracts, plus benefits, bonuses and any money switching hands among teams. My projections have them at just over $186 million for that one. The Opening Day payroll is simply what is owed to Major Leaguers in 2016. Info here is provided by Cot’s Contracts

Josh Hamilton: $26.41M (to Rangers)
Albert Pujols: $25.00M
C.J. Wilson: $20.50M
Jered Weaver: $20.20M
Mike Trout: $16.08M
Huston Street: $8.00M
Garrett Richards: $6.43M
Andrelton Simmons: $6.14M
Yunel Escobar: $5.50M
Joe Smith: $5.25M
Hector Santiago: $5.00M
Geovany Soto: $2.80M
Kole Calhoun: $3.40M
Erick Aybar: $2.50M (to Braves)
Fernando Salas: $2.40M
Cliff Pennington: $1.50M
Daniel Nava: $1.38M
Al Alburquerque: $1.10M
Craig Gentry: $1.00M

Pre-arbitration players: 8

Total: about $165 million

Arte Moreno

Prior Opening Day payrolls …

2015: $146.34M
2014: $154.55M
2013: $137.27M
2012: $151.38M
2011: $141.76M
2010: $121.11M
2009: $113.71M
2008: $119.22M
2007: $109.25M
2006: $103.47M
2005: $97.73M
2004: $100.53M
2003: $79.03M
2002: $61.72M
2001: $47.74M
2000: $55.80M

Last but not least, taco power rankings …

1. Los Taquitos
4747 E. Elliot Rd, Phoenix
Fresh corn tortillas, good meat, tasty sauce, chopped onions and cilantro. Not that hard. 

2. The Mission
3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale
It’s a fancy restaurant, not a taqueria. But the pork shoulder tacos — smoked and braised for 12 hours — are pretty awesome.

3. Barrio Cafe
2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix
You certainly don’t have to get tacos here — been there five times, and I’ve never had a bad meal — but the cochinita pibil tacos are great.

4. La Merced
855 W. University Dr., Mesa
I’m a big fan of al pastor tacos, and these guys do them really well. 

5. El Hefe
640 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Tasty, packed street tacos with some really unique ingredients. Duck carnitas and chicken tinga are go-tos. 

6. Los Altos Ranch Market
1118 E. Southern Ave., Mesa
Mexican grocery store with fresh tacos and great carnitas. 

7. America’s Taco Shop
2041 N. 7th St., Phoenix
Bigger corn tortillas with good flavor. They have an avocado sauce, though, which is fine.

8. Mucha Lucha Taco Shop
818 W. Broadway Rd, Tempe
You’ll end up eating these tacos with a fork, but they’ll be good. 

9. Senor Taco
15223 N. 87th St., Scottsdale
Generous portions, and the carne asada tacos are solid. 

10. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Not a fan of so much lettuce in my tacos. Or hard shells, for that matter. But it’ll do.



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Can’t wait for 2017!!!!!!!!!

It has become increasingly apparent that Arte Moreno needs to sell the angels and get out of the baseball business. Jerry Dipoto was the first GM in decades to correctly identify the areas of need, but because his plan didn’t agree with Mike Scioscia, he was forced to resign. Mike Scioscia is Arte’s pet. Billy Eppler’s hands are tied by an egocentric owner. Arte Moreno has the financial resources to build a winning team around the greatest player in baseball. But his personal investments and business holdings take precedence over the organization’s success, the fan base, and winning. I believe Arte Moreno’s actions speak volumes to Mike Trout. Any slim chance the Angels had of resigning Trout in free agency have become a mute point. Trout will and should leave the Angels, and an owner that doesn’t demonstrate what he has. I would hate to see Mike Trout leave too soon, but trading him now might be better for all concerned.

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Thank you for your excellent research. I appreciate it. I hope Richards, Shoemaker and Heany bounce back and help the team win more than 83 games.

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