The Angels have six free agents among their 2014 squad.
Considering how close the club is to the salary cap, four of these players are a no-brainer when it comes to re-signing: Utility infielder John McDonald, Catcher John Buck and relief pitchers Sean Burnett and Joe Thatcher. The no-brainer part here is to absolutely not re-sign them.
Burnett is due $500K in 2015 as a buyout. Thatcher's 2014 salary was an inexplicable $2.38 Million. Buck made a million bucks this past season and the veteran McDonald was close behind at $850 K. That is $4.2 Million that can be whittled down to a contractually mandated half-million bucks and free up four spots on the 40-Man roster.
Buck and Burnett are already gone, by the way. It would seem that Thatcher is the only one of these four with a prayer of being offered anything by the front office.
One free-agent to be has a club option for 2015 for $7 Million. That would be closer Huston Street. No-Brainer here, but this time it is a no-brainer to re-sign him.
That leaves one free agent. Reliever Jason Grilli. What should be done. He made $4.25 Million in 2014 by not being Ernesto Frieri. Grilli had a 3.48 ERA in 33.2 Innings Pitched, but his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching ERA) of 2.15 was the lowest for Halo pitcher with more than 6 IP this season. On the minus side, though, he turns 38 on November 11.
Considering that Cory Rasmus might be stretched into a starting pitcher, a good Angels bullpen is that much smaller with Grilli gone, not to mention arbitration hearings for Kevin Jepsen and Fernando Salas - both losing pitchers in the 2014 ALDS. We know Grilli liked being on the Angels so he might be willing to sign a two-year deal for $8 Million.
Is Grilli worth that or are his skills easily replaced on the open market at a much lower, and perhaps younger, rate. Before you say "yes" reflexively, recall that Jerry Dipoto signed Joe Blanton, Burnett and Ryan Madson while trading Jordan Walden for Tommy Hanson all in a one-week span.
Street: Yes or HELL YES
Grilli: Yes or No.