Although the Angels had until January to re-sign arbitration eligible players, this morning's signing of Cal State Fullerton's Vinnie Pestano at a raise of only $175,000 appears to be a move to strong-arm the other nine to settle quick or be dumped. Note the repetition of roles among six of the nine remaining players:
Gordon Beckham and David Freese both play 3B and so one could agree to a quick deal leaving the other to twist in the wind of many uncertain fates. They could...
- Cast him aside on the November 20 deadline.
- Agree to arbitration and still cast him aside at no cost other than a roster spot during the Rule-5 draft.
- Trade the offending party after an agreement is reached, offering the other team the cost certainty that comes with having competed the negotiation.
- Risk it all in waiving both and re-signing one at a rate much lower than the arbitrator would ever grant.
The above might be Freese and might be Beckham but it will definitely be one or more of four pitchers awaiting their arbitration fate...
Signing Pestano for such a miniscule raise puts downward pressure on the salaries of four arb-eligible RHPs: Kevin Jepsen, Wade LeBlanc, Cesar Ramos and Fernando Salas. There seems to be no way the Angels retain all four going through the entire process. Considering they just traded for Ramos it might be the veterans Jepsen and LeBlanc most likely to be cut or dealt.
Meanwhile three arbitration eligible Angels are unique in their class: Collin Cowgill might be replaceable int he scheme of things as far as fourth outfielders go, but he gels well with the kind of Sothball that Manager Mike is still rumored to play. Garrett Richards is an ace for years to come and might just get signed longer term. Hector Santiago is a swingman like LeBlanc but is a lefty - something short supply in the Anaheim pen.
There are ten days for the Halos to make an offer and it would seem that if this winter of quick-content is any indicator, these offers will come sooner rather than later.