Matt Joyce has yet to put on an Angels uniform but his first action as a member of the team was almost to take on the team in front of an arbitrator. Fortunately for both sides, the club came to an agreement with the 30-year old outfielder/DH on a contract for 2015 for $4.75 Million - the halfway point between the $4.2 million the team had offered and the $5.2 million Joyce was seeking.
The Angel settled with every player who was eligible for arbitration. Joyce will be a free agent after this season. If sabermetric calculations about the value of Wins Above Replacement (WAR) are correct, the Angels are a winner this time based on likely Joyce contributions. The lefty bat was worth 1.8, 1.5 and 1.1 Offensive Wins Above replacement in each of the past three seasons. Conventional wisdom (see what I did there, sabermetrics considers itself to be edgy and against the grain but is the analytical norm these days) puts one "Win" above replacement level at being worth somewhere between five and six million dollars. If Joyce puts up his normal numbers, Jerry Dipoto will have gotten his money's worth. Oh wait, it's Arte's money, right?
Look for Joyce to be the opening day Designated Hitter IF the starting pitcher is a right hander. The hope here is that Joyce only sees right handed pitching. Joe Maddon was his manager in Tampa and saw to this. Will Mike Scioscia?