Angels Reportedly Among Finalists For Closer Francisco Cordero

The Angels have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

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Francisco Cordero Linked To Los Angeles Angels, Per Reports

The Los Angeles Angels of Ahaneim are one of four teams in the race to acquire free-agent reliever Francisco Cordero, acording to the pitcher's agent, says the Los Angeles Times.

It is unclear whether they are recruiting the veteran right-hander as a closer or set-up man. The Angels have already added veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to their bullpen

The Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays are the other three teams in the hunt.

Cordero recorded his 300th career save with the Cincinnati Reds this past June, becoming only the 22nd player to reach that mark and ranks 2nd all time on that list among active players. No one in Major League Baseball has more saves since 2007 than Cordero.

Cordero's agent, Bean Stringfellow, was asked how the Angels planned on using Cordero and responded, "That's a delicate situation. I'd rather not comment." He did add that the Angels "were one of the first teams to contact me [about Cordero], and we've had regular contact with them throughout the winter -- they've been pretty consistent."

Stringfellow added that Cordero is expected to make a decision "by the end of this week."

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Spring Training 2012: Los Angeles Angels Announce Non-Roster Invitees, Including Jorge Cantu, Taylor Lindsey, Matt Shoemaker

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday announced their non-roster invitees to spring training, which is nearly a month away. Pitchers and catchers report to Halos camp at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on February 19, with the first workout one day later. Position players report on February 26, with the first full squad workout on February 27.

There are eight pitchers invited to Angels camp, including 25-year old Matt Shoemaker, who was 12-7 with a 3.15 ERA in 27 starts between Double A and Triple A. Other pitchers invited to camp are right-handers Ryan Brasier, David Carpenter, Eric Hurley, Francisco Rodriguez, Daniel Tillman, and Loek Van Mil, and southpaw Matt Meyer. Rodriguez has pitched in 53 games in relief for the Angels in 2010-2011, with a 4.43 ERA, 31 walks, and 43 strikeouts in 61 innings.

Catchers Jeff Brandy, Robinzon Diaz, Carlos Ramirez, and Alberto Rosario have been invited to Angels' camp, as have infielders Jorge Cantu, Taylor Lindsey, Efren Navarro, and Darwin Perez. Lindsey was a supplemental first round pick, 37th overall, by the Angels in 2010, and hit .362/.394/.593 with 43 extra-base hits in 63 games as a 19-year old playing second base in Rookie League Orem in 2011.

Outfielder Kole Calhoun, who hit .324/.410/.547 with 22 home runs in 133 games for Class A Inland Empire as a 23-year old in 2011, will join Doug Deeds, Ryan Langerhans, and Matt Long in major league camp.

The Angels open their spring training Cactus League schedule on March 5 at Phoenix Municipal Staidum against the Oakland Athletics.

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Los Angeles Angels 2012 Payroll

The Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday signed their last remaining player eligible for arbitration, inking shortstop Erick Aybar to a one-year, $5.075 million contract. That brings the Halos to 18 players signed for 2012, for a total of $144.82 million:

Angels 2012 Payroll Commitments
Pos Player Salary
OF Vernon Wells $21,000,000
OF Torii Hunter
$18,000,000
SP Jered Weaver $14,000,000
SP Dan Haren $12,750,000
1B Albert Pujols $12,000,000
SP Ervin Santana $11,200,000
SP C.J. Wilson $10,500,000
DH Bobby Abreu $9,000,000
SS Erick Aybar $5,075,000
LHP Scott Downs $5,000,000
2B Howie Kendrick $4,800,000
LHP Hisanori Takahashi $4,200,000
IF Maicer Izturis $3,800,000
C Chris Iannetta $3,550,000
IF Alberto Callaspo $3,150,000
RHP LaTroy Hawkins $3,000,000
1B Kendrys Morales $2,975,000
SP Jerome Williams $820,000
Totals $144,820,000

When the Angels released Scott Kazmir last year, part of his contract had a $2.5 million option buyout in 2012, so depending on how you account for that the Angels have either $144.82 million or $147.32 million committed to this season, with 18 players under contract. If the remaining seven roster spots are filled by minimum salary players ($480,000 is the minimum), the payroll will be between $150-153 million, before any other moves are made.

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Erick Aybar Signs One-Year Deal With Los Angeles Angels, Avoids Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Angels agreed to a one-year contract with shortstop Erick Aybar on Tuesday morning, avoiding salary arbitration. Aybar will make $5.075 million in 2012, per Enrique Rojas of ESPN. Aybar earned $3.3 million last season. The Angels have no arbitration cases this winter, having already come to terms with Howie Kendrick (on a multi-year deal), Kendrys Morales, and Alberto Callaspo in recent days.

Aybar, 28, hit .279/.322/.421 in 143 games for the Angels in 2011, and set career highs in runs (71), doubles (33), home runs (10), RBI (59), and stolen bases (30). Aybar also won a Gold Glove award at shortstop, his first such honor. Aybar will be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. In his career, Aybar has hit .276/.319/.379 in 629 games.

The Angels now have $144.82 million committed to 18 players for 2012.

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Alberto Callaspo Avoids Arbitration, Signs With Los Angeles Angels For One Year, $3.15 Million, Per Report

The Los Angeles Angels came into this week with two players left eligible for salary arbitration, and now that number appears to have been reduced to one. Infielder Alberto Callaspo has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.15 million, according to Keith Law of ESPN.

Callaspo, who turns 29 in April, hit .288/.366/.375 with 23 doubles and 58 walks in 141 games in 2011. Callaspo started 125 games at third base last season, but has also played second base and shortstop in his career. He was originally signed by the Angels out of Venezuela in 2001 but was eventually traded away before making it to the big leagues. The Angels reacquired Callaspo near the trade deadline in 2010 from the Kansas City Royals for Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith.

The only other player on the Angels eligible for salary arbitration is shortstop Erick Aybar, who made $3 million 2011. The Angels have reportedly been working with Aybar on a possible multi-year extension.

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Joel Pineiro Signs Minor League Deal With Philadelphia Phillies Per Report

It appears Joel Pineiro will take a paycut on his next contract compared to the two-year, $16 million deal he signed with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2010 season. The former Halos hurler has agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies with an invitation to spring training, per Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Pineiro, 33, was 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games, including 24 starts, for the Angels in 2011. He struggled mightily however at midseason and was briefly removed from the starting rotation. After the All-Star break, Pineiro was 2-4 with a 7.11 ERA in 10 starts and three relief appearances, with just 21 strikeouts and 15 walks in 56 innings, while allowing nine home runs. Pineiro missed the first four weeks of the 2011 season with right shoulder tightness.

In parts of 12 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Angels, Pineiro is 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA in 1,754 career innings.

For more news and information on the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Los Angeles Angels Minor Leagues: Bill Hasselman, Paul Sorrento Join Class A Inland Empire Coaching Staff

The Los Angeles Angels on Friday announced the coaching staff for Advanced Class A minor league affiliate in San Bernardino, the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. Former major league catcher Bill Hasselman has been tabbed to manage the 66ers.

Hasselman was hired on January 9 by new Halos assistant general manager Scott Servais. Hasselman most recently managed the Bakersfield Blaze in the California League in 2010, a Texas Rangers affiliate.

Brandon Emmanuel, who was the pitching coach for the Angels' Double A affiliate in Arkansas last season, will be the new pitching coach in San Bernardino. Longtime major league first baseman Paul Sorrento will serve as the hitting coach for the 66ers in 2012.

Greg Spence will return to Inland Empire as trainer, as will Ben Gaal as strength and conditioning coach. Both Spence and Gaal held the same position for the 66ers last season.

The minor league season begins for the 66ers on April 5, as they face their rival Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate, on the road to open the season.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Los Angeles Angels Sign Kendrys Morales To One-Year Contract, Avoid Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Angels announced on Wednesday that they have avoided arbitration with first baseman Kendrys Morales, signing him to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Morales hasn't played since May 29, 2010, when he suffered a freak injury breaking his left leg after landing on home plate while celebrating a walk-off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. In his recovery from that injury, Morales has had two ankle surgeries in 2011.

Morales, 28, had a breakout year for the Angels in 2009, hitting .306/.355/.569 with 34 home runs. He was hitting .290/.346/.487 with 11 home runs in 51 games in 2010 when he injured his leg. Morales made $2.975 million in 2011, and will probably make somewhere near that amount in 2012.

The Angels have a bit of a logjam now that they have signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million contract to play first base. They also have Mark Trumbo, who hit .254/.291/.477 with 29 home runs as a rookie in 2011, and Bobby Abreu and his $9 million salary as the likely designated hitter. At the very least, Morales will provide the Angels with power off the bench, a switch-hitter who will provide them with versatility.

The Angels just need to see if Morales is healthy first.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Howie Kendrick Contract Details: Updated 2012 Los Angeles Angels Payroll

The Los Angeles Angels on Monday made official their four-year contract with second baseman Howie Kendrick, buying out three years of free agency. The total contract with worth $33.5 million, and thanks to the Associated Press we have the contract details:

  • $1.4 million signing bonus (payable $300,000 within 30 days of the contract signing, $300,000 on January 15, 2013, $400,000 on January 15, 2014, and $400,000 on January 15, 2015)
  • 2012: $4.5 million
  • 2013: $8.75 million
  • 2014: $9.35 million
  • 2015: $9.5 million

This means the Angels have roughly $133.6 million committed to 15 players in 2012:

Angels 2012 Payroll Commitments
Pos Player Salary
OF Vernon Wells $21,000,000
OF Torii Hunter
$18,000,000
SP Jered Weaver $14,000,000
SP Dan Haren $12,750,000
1B Albert Pujols $12,000,000
SP Ervin Santana $11,200,000
SP C.J. Wilson $10,500,000
DH Bobby Abreu $9,000,000
LHP Scott Downs $5,000,000
2B Howie Kendrick $4,800,000
LHP Hisanori Takahashi $4,200,000
IF Maicer Izturis $3,800,000
C Chris Iannetta $3,550,000
RHP LaTroy Hawkins $3,000,000
SP Jerome Williams $820,000
Totals $133,620,000

There are also arbitration raises due to Erick Aybar, Kendrys Morales, and Alberto Callaspo, who made a combined $7.975 million in 2011. Without any other moves, the Angels figure to have a payroll somewhere in the $150 million range in 2012.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Howie Kendrick Signs Four-Year Contract With Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels on Monday made official their four-year contract extension with Howie Kendrick, after the second baseman passed a physical. The deal is worth a total of $33.5 million, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

Kendrick, 28, hit .285/.338/.464 with a career-high 18 home runs in 140 games for the Angels in 2011, and made the American League All-Star team for the first time. Primarily a second baseman, Kendrick filled in at other positions in 2011, starting 20 games in left field and 11 more at first base in addition to his 105 starts at second base.

He was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the 2002 draft out of West Nassau High School in Callahan, Florida.

The Jacksonville native made $3.3 million in 2011 and had one more year of arbitration remaining. This contract bought out three years of free agency. Kendrick in 2011 set career highs in runs, triples, home runs, walks, stolen bases, slugging percentage, and OPS.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Howie Kendrick Agrees To Four-Year Contract With Los Angeles Angels, Per Report

The Los Angeles Angels have had quite a busy offseason. They have added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to a core that won 86 games in 2011, and are reportedly about to lock up one of those core members for several seasons. Second baseman Howie Kendrick has reportedly agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Angels pending a physical, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The deal would cover Kendrick's final year of salary arbitration and three years of free agency. The contract is worth a reported $33.5 million according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Kendrick, 28, made $3.3 million in 2011, and hit .285/.338/.464 with 18 home runs in 140 games. He made his first All-Star team and set career highs in home runs, runs scored (86), stolen bases (14), walks (33), slugging percentage (.464) and OPS (.802). Kendrick likely would have made north of $5 million in arbitration for the 2012 season.

The contract will cover Kendrick's age 28-31 seasons. The Angels' payroll in 2012, including Kendrick, figures to settle in at somewhere near the $150 million mark without any other moves.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Los Angeles Angels Sign Infielder Jorge Cantu To Minor League Contract

The Los Angeles Angels have signed veteran infielder Jorge Cantu to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Reigister. Cantu, who turned 30 on January 30, struggled mightily in 2011 with the San Diego Padres.

Cantu split time between first and third base and hit .194/.232/.285 with three home runs in 57 games before getting released by San Diego on June 21. Cantu signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies, but hit just .280/.320/.458 in 30 games in hitter friendly Colorado Springs in Triple A.

In 2008 and 2009 with the Marlins, Cantu hit a combined .283/.336/.462 with 83 doubles, 45 home runs, and 195 RBI. But Cantu has hit just .242/.287/.367 over the last two seasons. Cantu now mostly plays third base and first base, though he played primarily second base from 2004-2006 when he came up with the Tampa Bay Rays.

As it stands, the Angels have a fairly crowded bench without any other moves. Two of Bobby Abreu, Mark Trumbo, and Kendrys Morales figure to occupy bench spots, with Alberto Callaspo as the backup middle infielder and either Bobby Wilson or Hank Conger as backup catcher.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Kendrys Morales Injury Update: Morales Heads To Colorado For Testing To Determine Next Step

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales has had a lot, a lot of time off since hitting his epic, injury-causing home run, but may be on the road to recovery sooner than later as the L.A. Times reports that he is headed to Vail, CO for testing on his left ankle to see what the next step on his rehabilitation process should be.

"We’ll find out if he can step up to the next level and start more rigorous baseball activities," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. "I wouldn’t say Kendrys’ 2012 season hinges on the answers we get this week, but the optimism we already feel could be enhanced."

In case you forgot, Morales broke his left ankle while jumping onto home plate after a game-winning grand slam back on May 29, 2010, and hasn’t played since. He also hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI in in 2009 as well. He’s also had two surgeries on that ankle since.

Morales has been doing things like jogging on a "de-weighted" treadmill and hitting off a tee, but the Angels will have a better feel for his next move after these tests. He could be a great left-handed counterpart at first base along with righty Albert Pujols if he returns to his 2009 form.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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C.J. Wilson Contract Breakdown

The Los Angeles Angels will have one of the best starting rotations in baseball next season, and they will pay accordingly. Left-hander C.J. Wilson was added to the staff last week thanks to a five-year, $77.5 million contract, and the Associated Press has the complete details of the pact. Here are Wilson's annual salaries:

  • 2012: $10 million
  • 2013: $11 million
  • 2014: $16 million
  • 2015: $18 million
  • 2016: $20 million

Those salaries for Wilson in the final three years of his deal match the salaries of Jered Weaver, who signed a five-year, $85 million extension in August. Weaver will make $14 million in 2012, Dan Haren will make $12.75 million, and Ervin Santana will make $11.2 million, meaning the Angels will pay their top four starting pitchers a combined $48.45 million next season.

Wilson has a $2.5 million signing bonus, which is split up into payments of $500,000 up front, and $1 million each on July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. In addition, he can earn the following bonuses each year:

  • Cy Young Award: $150,000 for winning; $75,000 for finishing second; $75,000 for finishing third
  • $50,000 for making the All-Star team
  • $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove
  • $75,000 for winning League Championship Series MVP
  • $100,000 for World Series MVP

In addition, Wilson "may not be traded without his permission through 2013. After that, Wilson may name eight teams he can't be sent to without his consent."

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Los Angeles Angels Tender Contracts To Kendrys Morales And Remaining Arbitration Eligible Players

The Los Angeles Angels on Monday announced they would tender contracts to all four of their remaining arbitration eligible players, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. That includes first baseman Kendrys Morales, who has missed the last year and a half after breaking his left ankle.

Morales made $2.975 million in 2011 and missed the entire campaign while recovering from a second surgery on his left ankle, suffered while jumping on home plate to celebrate a walk-off grand slam on May 29, 2010. Morales was a candidate to be non-tendered given the signing of Albert Pujols and the emergence of first baseman Mark Trumbo, who finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year award balloting after hitting .254/.291/.477 while leading the Angels with 29 home runs and 87 RBI in 2011.

Infielders Howie Kendrick (he made $3.3 million in 2011), Erick Aybar ($3 million), and Alberto Callaspo ($2 million) are the other three Angels eligible for salary arbitration in 2011.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Jerome Williams Signs One-Year Deal With Los Angeles Angels, Avoiding Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Angels on Monday avoided arbitration with starting pitcher Jerome Williams, signing him to a one-year deal. The contract is worth $820,000, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, plus up to an additional $120,000 in bonuses based on starts and games pitched.

Williams, 30, is expected to round out the starting rotation for the Angels, which is considered one of the best in baseball. The Angels last week added left-handed starter C.J. Wilson to a pitching staff that already had Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana.

Williams was 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 games for the Angels in 2011, including six starts. It was his first action in the major leagues since 2007, as he pitched in the minor leagues through 2009 before pitching in Taiwan in 2010. He signed a minor league contract with the Angels in June 2011.

The Angels still have Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Howie Kendrick, and Kendrys Morales eligible for salary arbitration this winter. The deadline to tender contracts to such players is 9 p.m. PST Monday night.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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C.J. Wilson Signing: How Good Will Angels' Starting Pitching Be In 2012?

The Los Angeles Angels in 2011 had a very productive starting pitching staff, led by the top three of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. On Thursday, that trio became a foursome as the Angels signed C.J. Wilson to a five-year, $77.5 million contract. Wilson is the lone lefty of the group, but just how good will the Angels' starting staff be in 2012?

Angels Starting Pitching In 2011
Pitcher Starts IP IP/GS BB K ERA WHIP
Weaver 33 235.2 7.14 56 198 2.41 1.010
Haren 34 237.1 6.98 33 191 3.19 1.028
Santana 33 228.2 6.93 72 178 3.38 1.220
Others 62 341.1 5.51 130 167 4.83 1.544
Totals 162 1043.0 6.44 291 734 3.59 1.235

The other starters outside of the big three for the Angels put up a 4.83 ERA in 62 starts in 2011, while Wilson was busy putting up a 2.94 ERA in 223 innings in hitter-friendly Arlington, Texas. We can look at FanGraphs to see the 2012 projections by Bill James, to get some sort of idea, a guestimate of how the Angels now fearsome foursome might fare next season.

For simplicity's sake, I have assumed the remaining starts in 2012, which will likely be made by Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, and a few others, will have the same results as the "others" in 2011.

Angels Starting Pitching 2012 Bill James Projections
Pitcher Starts IP IP/GS BB K ERA WHIP
Weaver 32 224.0 7.00 55 197 3.17 1.121
Haren 32 234.0 7.31 39 202 3.27 1.111
Wilson 32 215.0 6.72 80 194 3.31 1.228
Santana 32 221.0 6.91 71 175 3.95 1.303
Others 34 187.1 5.51 71 92 4.85 1.543
Totals 162 1081.1 6.67 316 860 3.67 1.316
Source: FanGraphs

The total results from the staff show some better peripherals from the Angels' starters, but thanks to some regression the overall run prevention projects to be similar to last year. If those four pitch to those projections in 2012, the starters should pitch about 30 more innings than last year, taking some strain off the bullpen at the very least.

The Angels have had four pitchers all pitch 200 innings once in their history. The 1971 squad featured Rudy May, Andy Messersmith, Tom Murphy, and Clyde Wright all eclipse the 200-inning plateau.

If the pitching staff is roughly the same, if not a little better, the Angels will need some increased offense to improve in 2012. Luckily they also signed this first baseman on Thursday. You may have heard of him...

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Which Current Angels 'Got To Go' With Albert Pujols & C.J. Wilson In Anaheim?

The acquisition of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson make some current Angels expendable. Let's rundown the likeliest scenarios in this expensive game of musical chairs.

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C.J. Wilson Contract With Angels Is Backloaded

It is not often that a franchise can sign someone for $77.5 million and not have that be anywhere close to the largest contract for the team in the same offseason let alone the same day. But that was the case for C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, who signed a five-year contract on the same day first baseman Albert Pujols signed for $254 million over 10 years.

The contract for Wilson is fairly backloaded, with Wilson receiving just $10 million in 2012, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus. Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas has the contract details for the former Texas Rangers' pitcher:

  • 2012: $10 million salary plus $2.5 million signing bonus
  • 2013: $11 million
  • 2014: $16 million
  • 2015: $18 million
  • 2016: $20 million

Those salaries for Wilson in the final three years of his deal match the salaries of Jered Weaver, who signed a five-year, $85 million extension in August. Weaver will make $14 million in 2012, Dan Haren will make $12.75 million, and Ervin Santana will make $11.2 million, meaning the Angels will pay their top four starting pitchers a combined $50.45 million next season.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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Rangers Reaction To Angels Signing C.J. Wilson

The Texas Rangers have made it to back-to-back World Series with left-hander C.J. Wilson playing a large role in both 2010 and 2011. Now C.J. is on a division rival, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Rangers have to live with that.

Texas GM Jon Daniels spoke a bit about losing Wilson, but was more focused on what his team has and is going to do than what concern himself with other teams:

"They got two very good players," Daniels said. "I don't see this as a punch, counter-punch thing. Our goal is to be as good as we can be within the parameters we have to work with. We've been there twice and have to find a way to win it. To do so, you have to get back there first. So we have to find a way to make the playoffs. That's our focus. We feel good about our club and where we're at, but clearly the division got a little tougher."    

One thing is for sure, the Rangers will have a much more difficult task winning the AL West with C.J. and Albert suiting up against them in Anaheim. 

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven. 

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C.J. Wilson Takes Hometown Discount To Join Angels

The Miami Marlins were ready to throw giant stacks of cash at both C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols this offseason, and made contract offers that did just that. Nevertheless, Wilson eventually decided to take a hometown discount and return to Southern California to play with the Angels, but the question is why?

Wilson explained himself a bit to the Palm Beach Post

 "The Marlins were such a strong offer I might not have ended up in Anaheim unless things came together last night the way they did."    

"If it was about the money, I'd be a Florida Marlin."    

I think you meant Miami Marlins but we'll let it slide. 

Justin Bopp over at MLB Daily Dish explains how Wilson could have easily gotten $25 million more from Miami then he could have in Anaheim, and stayed up until 5:30 this morning weighing his options before finally making his decision. 

Either way it seems like both sides are happy about the deal, the only one's who aren't are likely the Miami Marlins.  

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven

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C.J. Wilson Comes To Angels With No-Trade Clauses Built Into Contract

It's actually happening, the @str8edgeracer, C.J. Wilson is coming to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Halos and Wilson are excited about the opportunity. 

Wilson spoke briefly about his move within the AL West and was more than excited to be coming to Anaheim:

via Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter

CJ Wilson: "It's big swing of the balance of power in West. I thought I would make a little bit of difference. Albert will make a huge one."
Dec 08 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

There still are some questions regarding how much he is getting paid as the team won't discuss the specifics of his deal, though it is somewhere in the range of $75-77.5 million. This is for sure about his contract though, via Alden Gonzalez on Twitter. 

CJ's deal includes a full no-trade clause in the first two years and a partial no-trade clause the last three. #angels
Dec 08 via Twitter for BlackBerry®FavoriteRetweetReply

 

The Angels obviously want to keep C.J. around, which likely will behoove both parties. Wilson will be in a place whre he is comfortable surrounded with talented players that can be successful for years to come, while the Angels have the names to fill the seats and make all that money back they just dished out. 

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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C.J. Wilson Signs Five-Year Contract With Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have had the busiest of mornings on Thursday at the Winter Meetings in Dallas. First, they signed Albert Pujols to a whopping 10-year, $250 million deal. Now come reports that the Angels have signed pitcher C.J. Wilson to a five-year, $75 million deal, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and confirmed by multiple reports.

The deal has not yet been officially announced.

Wilson, the Fountain Valley native, was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 2011, his second straight successful year as a starter after transitioning from the bullpen. The 31-year old was also heavily pursued by the Florida Marlins, who reportedly offered WIlson a six-year contract.

Including the postseason, nobody in baseball made more starts than the 76 made by Wilson in 2010-2011. He joins an already formidable starting staff that includes Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. Those four pitchers combined to pitch 926 innings last season and had 98 quality starts.

The Angels already had $105.5 million committed to 11 payers in 2012, which includes a not-yet finalized one-year deal with reliever LaTroy Hawkins worth a reported $3 million. Before Wilson, the Angels' payroll figures to be in the $125 million range after factoring in arbitration raises for Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, and Jerome Williams. Without any other moves, the Angels' payroll could skyrocket into the $165 million range, but of course there could be backloading in the Pujols and Wilson contracts, or a possible trade could happen to shed some payroll as well.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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C.J. Wilson Reportedly To Sign With Los Angeles Angels

C.J. Wilson has been considered one of the most important baseball players in the free agent market, and there seemed to be two teams who were vying for his services the most. The Los Angeles Angels and the Florida Marlins both seem like they're the most interested in offering him a multi-year deal.

It looks as if Wilson is settling on one of those teams.

Source with knowledge of C.J. Wilson talks expects him to sign five-year deal with #Angels.
Dec 08 via txtFavoriteRetweetReply

Wilson was apparently offered an extra year on his deal with more money for the Marlins, but playing in Los Angeles does appear to be a bigger attraction for him. Wilson is a former Fountain Valley High, Santa Ana College and Loyola Marymount pitcher, and seems really interested in playing close to home. With Mark Buehrle being signed by the Marlins, it might limit the ability of Florida to offer Wilson a premium deal, which is probably another factor in why Wilson is heading out to the West Coast.

To discuss the idea of Wilson playing in Anaheim with Angels fans, head over to Halos Heaven.

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2011 MLB Free Agents: Los Angeles Angels Reportedly Sign LaTroy Hawkins

The Los Angeles Angels were looking for relief pitching at the Winter Meetings, and on Wednesday it looks like they have found it. The Angels have agreed in principle to a one-year deal with relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Terms are not yet known.

Hawkins, who turns 39 four days before Christmas, was 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 52 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011. The right-hander struck out 28 batters in 48 innings last season. The Angels will be his ninth team in 18 big league seasons, and ninth in a 10-year span.

Hawkins made $4 million in the final year of a two-year, $7.5 million deal signed with Milwaukee before the 2010 season.

The Angels were looking to upgrade a bullpen that will feature closer Jordan Walden and setup man Scott Downs at the back end. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported the Angels inquired about Ramon Ramirez of the San Francisco Giants, but Ramirez was traded earlier Wednesday to the New York Mets.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters on Wednesday he preferred acquiring a setup man to a closer because "it’s awfully hard to upgrade from [a] guy who throws 100 mph," referring to Walden, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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2011 MLB Free Agents: Angels Pushing For C.J. Wilson

According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are 'ramping up' their efforts to sign starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, with hopes of inking the talented lefty sometime on Wednesday. 

An inside source told Frisaro that the Halos are targeting the Texas Rangers' free agent, who had a spectacular year down in Arlington with a 16-7 record, 2.94 ERA, and 1.19 WHIP. He was also part of the 200 K club, fanning 206 batters in 2011 while walking 74, as well as his stout .223 BAA. The Halos could seriously use another golden arm in their rotation to couple their already budding superstar Jerad Weaver. 

It was also mentioned late tuesday night that the Angels were seen as the third and final "mystery team"  gunning  for slugger Albert Pujols along with the Cardinals and Marlins, though it seems Wilson is the one most likely to be acquired. 

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven

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Los Angeles Angels Trade Catcher Jeff Mathis To Toronto Blue Jays For Pitcher Brad Mills

After the Los Angeles Angels acquired catcher Chris Iannetta on Wednesday, it was clear that the days of Jeff Mathis in Anaheim were over. On Saturday that became official as Mathis was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for left-handed pitcher Brad Mills.

Mathis was known for his defense throughout his parts of seven seasons with the Angels, as he was popular as a receiver among the Angels' pitching staff. His reputation and popularity, especially with manager Mike Scioscia, went a long way, considering that Mathis is one of the worst-hitting catchers of all-time.

The 28-year old Mathis hit .174/.225/.259 in 93 games in 2011, and for his career has hit a paltry .194/.257/.301. His adjusted OPS+ of 50 (where 100 is average, and anything below 100 is below average) is the ninth lowest among all who have caught at least 300 games since 1901.

Mathis made $1.7 million in 2011 and has one more year of arbitration eligibility. With the acquisition of Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies earlier in the week, Mathis was a candidate to be non-tendered on December 12. So that the Angels got anything for Mathis was a bit of a coup.

What they got was Mills, who has an 8.57 ERA in 48 innings in parts of three big league seasons. He has mostly been a starter, as he has started nine of his 14 big league games and 87 of his 91 minor league contests. In 2011 Mills was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA with Triple A Las Vegas in 24 starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, and was 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA in 18 innings over five games, including four starts, with Toronto.

Mills, who turns 27 in March, has already used three option years, but doesn't yet have five full years as a professional, as he was drafted in the fourth round in 2007. He has one option year remaining.

To discuss Angels baseball, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Chris Iannetta Excited To Join Los Angeles Angels After Trade

Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto's first transaction with the Halos was a trade. He acquired catcher Chris Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies for young pitcher Tyler Chatwood on Wednesday. Iannetta was excited to join his new club.

"There are a lot of emotions just because it was the first team I have ever played for, the team that drafted me," Iannetta said on Wednesday. "But I couldn't have asked for a better organization to go to than the Los Angeles Angels."

Iannetta's strength his his offense. He had a .370 on-base percentage with 14 in 2011 and a .357 OBP in his career. Of his approach at the plate, the 28-year old catcher said it began in the minor leagues. "I didn't like getting myself out, so I worked on good pitches to hit," Iannetta said. "Pitching is hard, I've seen it from the catching position."

It is worth noting that in his six seasons Iannetta hit .262/.377/.489 at the offensive haven that is Coors Field in Colorado, while hitting just .208/.338/.369 in his career on the road.

Iannetta said he was extremely excited to be able to catch a staff that includes Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. "I have a ton of respect for all three pitchers. All three can at any time be in Cy Young contention," Iannetta said.

Iannetta will make $3.55 million in 2012, and has a club option worth $5 million for 2013 that can be bought out for $250,000. With the trade to the Angels, the option becomes a mutual option with Iannetta having the right to decline. But the catcher said that he is not thinking about that now, and that it is something he and his agent, Alan Nero of Octagon, will address next winter.

Whether they get one or two years out of Iannetta, this trade is a bit of a gamble for the Angels. The soon-to-be 22-year old Chatwood still has six years before hitting free agency and already has 25 big league starts under his belt. Chatwood's peripherals weren't anything special - 71 walks and 74 strikeouts in 142 MLB innings - but as recently as one year ago he was rated as the club's second-best prospect by Baseball America.

But for a team like the Angels that saw their catchers hit .192/.252/.302 in 2011, the gamble might have been worth it.

To discuss Angels baseball, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Angels Pick Up Chris Iannetta From Rockies, Give Up Tyler Chatwood

The Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels are making a trade. 

According to sources, the Rockies appear to be ready to locking up Ramon Hernandez as their veteran catching option. So the Rockies no longer need Chris Iannetta, and have apparently made moves to deal him to the Angels. The Rockies would receive right handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood in return.

Iannetta is a decent hitting catcher that was buried on the bench in Colorado. Iannetta is under contract for $3.55 million in 2012, plus has a club option for 2013 worth $5 million, or a $250,000 buyout. If he is traded, Iannetta has the right to void that 2013 option.

Even as a starter, Chatwood did very little of note with the Angels, compiling an average to mediocre 4.75 ERA in 142 innings pitched with a 1.67 and a .303 batting average.

This could also mean the end of the road for Jeff Mathis. The Angels catcher Mathis made $1.7 million last year while struggling, and is arbitration eligible for next season. But Angels can non-tender Mathis if they so choose on December 12, which would make Mathis a free agent. That could mean Iannetta gets a better shot to see playing time early.

More from the press release here.

    The Angels Wednesday announced the club has acquired catcher Chris Iannetta (EYE-uh-netta) from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood.  Today’s announcement was made by General Manager Jerry Dipoto.

          Iannetta, 28, appeared in a career-high 112 games with the Rockies in 2011 batting .238 (82/345) with 51 runs scored, 17 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .370 on-base percentage (2nd among all N.L. catchers, min 80 G).  He led the Rockies with a career-high 70 walks and was one of eight N.L. catchers with double-digit home runs.  Behind the plate, he made 105 starts logging a .998 fielding pct. (2 E in 817 total chances) while throwing out 27.1% of base stealers (26 for 96).  His 82 assists led N.L. catchers while his .998 fielding percentage ranked second among N.L. backstops.

           The Providence, RI native was drafted by Colorado in the fourth round of the 2004 draft out of the University of North Carolina.  In six seasons with the Rockies, he batted .235 (336/1429) with 72 doubles, 63 home runs, 236 RBI and a .357 on-base percentage in 458 games.  He enjoyed his finest season in 2008 batting .264 with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, a .390 OBP and an .895 OPS in 104 contests.  That season, he led MLB catchers with a 1.000 fielding percentage (0 E in 657 total chances).

           Chatwood, 21, finished his 2011 rookie season 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA (142 IP – 75 ER) in 27 appearances (25 starts). The right-hander was named Angels Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and entered 2011 as the Angels’ #2 prospect by Baseball America.  In parts of four minor league seasons, Chatwood compiled a 23-20 record with one shutout and a 3.40 ERA (325.2 IP – 123 ER).


To discuss Angels baseball, check out Halos Heaven.

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Los Angeles Angels Add Jean Segura, Three Pitchers To 40-Man Roster

The Los Angeles Angels on Friday set their 40-man roster before the deadline to finalize rosters in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft on December 8 at the Winter Meetings in Dallas. Shortstop Jean Segura is the headliner as one of the Angels' top prospects, to be added to the 40-man roster, along with pitchers Johnny Hellweg, Fabio Martinez, and Ariel Pena.

Segura was rated as the Angels' third best prospect by Baseball America last season. The 21-year old infielder missed three months with a hamstring injury and was limited to just 52 games in 2011, but did hit .293/.341/.447 with 18 stolen bases.

To make room on the roster, the Angels outrighted pitchers Loek Van Mil and Francisco Rodriguez to Triple A Salt Lake. The club released pitcher Anthony Ortega earlier in the week. The Angels have 37 players on their 40-man roster.

For a detailed look at the prospects added to the Angels' 40-man roster, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Thoughts On The Angels, C.J. Wilson & A New CBA

One of the first things new Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said in his introductory press conference was that he felt the club didn't need to make significant moves for the Halos to contend. Then came word on Friday that the club has been in contact with starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register noted, "Dipoto characterized the contact as very preliminary, just letting Wilson's representative know the Angels 'are intrigued by' the Orange County native," so there's no need to schedule that press conference just yet, but the thought of adding Wilson to an already formidable staff is intriguing.

The Angels big three of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana combined for 2.99 ERA and averaged seven innings per start in 2011, and the club was 58-42 in their 100 combined starts. In the other 62 games, Angels' starters had a 4.83 ERA and averaged five and a half innings per start, and the Halos were 28-34 in those contests.

Adding Wilson would certainly bolster the starting staff, but there is also the question of cost. Wilson is the top free agent starter on the market, and will command a high salary, perhaps similar to the five-year, $82.5 million contracts John Lackey and A.J. Burnett signed. The Angels have $99 million committed to nine players in 2012, including $40 million for Weaver, Haren, and Santana.

With a projected payroll currently around $125 million and a budget of $130-140 million based on what owner Arte Moreno has said this offseason, it seems like a Wilson signing wouldn't leave room for much else. But then again maybe a four-headed monster pitching staff would do wonders in the division.

There is also the question of workload. Wilson has been very good in his two years as a starter with a 31-15 record, 3.14 ERA and nearly eight strikeouts per nine innings. But including postseason, nobody in baseball has made more starts in the last two seasons than the 76 by Wilson, and Wilson's 7,961 pitches thrown in 2010-2011 are second only to the 8,046 pitches thrown by Justin Verlander.

Wilson is also a Type A free agent, which under past rules would mean the Angels would forfeit their 2012 first round draft pick if they sign the left-hander. However, a new collective bargaining agreement could come down the pike at any moment that could include "significant changes in draft-pick compensation for free agents" per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The GM meetings get underway on Monday in Monday, and the owners meetings start Wednesday, so this is the likely week a new deal gets done. Once the CBA is signed, expect the hot stove season to heat up.

To discuss Dipoto and Angels baseball, head to Halo's Heaven.

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Jerry Dipoto: Don't Rule Out Angels In Albert Pujols Or Prince Fielder Sweepstakes

The Los Angeles Angels might try and make some moves this offseason. And not just any low-profile signings of a relief pitcher or a utility infielder. No, new Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto is aiming much higher in this race, and looking at some of the big bats in this race.

ESPN Los Angeles has the report.

Jerry Dipoto, newly appointed senior vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Angels, says not to count out the franchise as a player in the free-agent sweepstakes for Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

"Don't assume that we have no interest in Fielder or Pujols," Dipoto said in an interview with ESPN.com baseball analyst Jim Bowden. "We don't want to lock the door. We are a high-revenue team and I'm a big believer in acquiring impact players. However, they are not our greatest need and are not priority number one on our list."

The Angels really could use help in trying to get their offense going on a more consistent basis, but it's unclear whether Dipoto would really go for a big bat like Pujols or Fielder. It doesn't seem like the sort of move Dipoto would make to try and improve his team, because he doesn't like to spend big money on one player It's far likelier that the Angels would pursue a starting pitching option to try and shore things up in the rotation and help out guys like Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

To discuss Dipoto and Angels baseball, head to Halo's Heaven.

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2012 MLB Free Agent List: Jason Bulger One Of 14 Angels Minor League Free Agents

Free agency is upon us in Major League Baseball, as the Los Angeles Angels had four players file for free agency last weekend. But while the main focus is on major league free agency, there are three times as many minor league free agents. Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the full list of 537 minor league free agents, which includes 14 Angels.

Pitcher Jason Bulger and infielder Gil Velazquez are the only two Angels minor league free agents to see time in Anaheim this season. Bulger, who turns 33 in December, came to the Angels in 2006 from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Alberto Callaspo, who is back in Anaheim now. Bulger has a 4.33 career ERA in 125 games pitched in relief.

Velazquez, 32, is a journeyman infielder who had three hits in six at-bats for the Angels in September. The Angels have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

For more on the Angels, head to Halos Heaven.

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2012 MLB Free Agent List: Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney Among Four Angels Free Agents

Late Saturday night marked the beginning of the free agency period Major League Baseball, and four Los Angeles Angels were among those filing. Pitchers Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney, and Horacio Ramirez, along with pinch hitter Russell Branyan are now free agents. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York has the complete list of free agents.

The Angels now have 38 players on their 40-man roster, heading into the first offseason for new general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was hired on Saturday. Dipoto was quick to point out the Angels don't need many moves to contend, that the roster only needed a few tweaks. "You also have a number of high-end all-star type performers in their prime years who are lining it up every day. Guys like Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana; I don't know if you're going to find too many teams that have that," Dipoto said on Saturday.

Pineiro signed a two-year, $16 million deal before the 2010 season, but was limited with disabled list in both of his seasons in Anaheim. Pineiro briefly lost his spot in the starting rotation after a midseason slump, and was 2-4 with a 7.11 ERA in 55 innings after the All-Star break in 2011.

Rodney signed a two-year, $11 million deal before the 2010 season, and was largely ineffective in his two years with the Angels. He had a 4.50 ERA in 39 games for the Halos in 2011 with more walks than strikeouts.

From the fantasy department: the Angels could in theory have a fifth free agent, if Vernon Wells decides to opt out of his contract. However, hitting .218/.248/.412 is not the type of platform year that Wells might try to secure a deal better than the three years and $63 million remaining on his contract.

MLB teams are allowed to sign free agents from other teams beginning Wednesday, November 2 at 9 p.m. PDT.

For more on the Angels, head to Halos Heaven.

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Angels Roster Inherited By New GM Jerry Dipoto

The Los Angeles Angels now have their general manager in place in Jerry Dipoto, hired on Saturday as the 11th GM in franchise history. With MLB free agency looming at 9 p.m. PDT Saturday night, here is a look at the 40-man roster the new Angels general manager will inherit.

Pitchers (21)

Under contract (5): Jered Weaver ($14 million in 2012), Dan Haren ($12.75 million), Ervin Santana ($11.2 million), Scott Downs ($5 million), Hisanori Takahashi ($4.2 million)

Arbitration eligible (1): Jerome Williams

Under team control (12): Trevor Bell, Ysmael Carmona, Bobby Cassevah, Tyler Chatwood, Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn, Anthony Ortega, Garrett Richards, Francisco Rodriguez, Rich Thompson, Loek Van Mil, Jordan Walden

Free agents (3): Joel Pineiro, Horacio Ramirez, Fernando Rodney

Catchers (3)

Arbitration eligible (1): Jeff Mathis (made $1.7 million in 2011)

Under team control (2): Hank Conger, Bobby Wilson

Infielders (11)

Under contract (1): Maicer Izturis ($3.8 million)

Arbitration eligible (4): Erick Aybar (made $3 million in 2011), Alberto Callaspo ($2 million), Howie Kendrick ($3.3 million), Kendrys Morales ($2.975 million)

Under team control (5): Alexi Amarista, Efren Navarro, Andrew Romine, Mark Trumbo, Gil Velazquez

Free agents (1): Russell Branyan

Outfielders (7)

Under contract (3): Bobby Abreu ($9 million), Torii Hunter ($18 million), Vernon Wells ($21 million)

Under team control (4): Peter Bourjos, Jeremy Moore, Chris Pettit, Mike Trout

Both Rodriguez and Morales ended the season on the 60-day disabled list, which explains why the Angels have 42 players on the 40-man roster.

The Angels have nearly $99 million committed to nine players in 2012, plus potential raises through arbitration for up to six players. Add in the $2.5 million buyout of Scott Kazmir's 2012 option, and the payroll is somewhere in the $125 million range before considering any free agents or other additions.

Special thanks to the Halos Heaven and the indispensable Cot's Baseball Contracts for some of the salary figures.

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