The Angels trimmed a few players from their 40-man roster, deciding not to tender a contract to pitchers Hansel Robles, Matt Andriese, Keynan Middleton, Hoby Milner, and Justin Anderson before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline.
All five were eligible for salary arbitration this winter, which suggests the Angels don’t feel they would make their projected salaries on the open market. They are now free agents.
These pitchers combined for 74 innings pitched in 2020, including 28.4 percent of the Angels’ relief innings.
After a productive first two seasons in Anaheim, Robles had a rough go in 2020. The right-hander had a 10.26 ERA and 5.89 FIP in 18 games, with 20 strikeouts and 10 walks in 16⅔ innings. Opposing batters hit .284/.380/.537 against Robles, who lost his closer role just over a week into the season, appearing in only two games with a lead in the final eight weeks of the year.
Robles, who made a pro-rated share of $3.85 million in 2020, has five years, 119 days of service time. The average of Matt Swartz’s salary arbitration projections at MLB Trade Rumors for Robles was $3.95 million for 2021.
Andriese was projected to make just shy of $2.2 million next season, after posting a 4.50 ERA and 4.28 FIP in 32 innings in mostly a bulk relief role for the Angels in 2020. The right-hander struck out 33, walked 11, and his 26.2-percent strikeout rate ranked fourth among Angels pitchers with at least 10 innings.
Middleton was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, with three years, 89 days of service time. The right-hander had a 5.25 ERA and 5.02 FIP in 12 innings, but was optioned on August 31 and spent the final four weeks of the season at the alternate training site at Long Beach State.
Anderson with two years, 161 days of service time and eligible for salary arbitration as a Super Two, among the top 22 percent of players with between two and three years of major league service time. But he also didn’t pitch in 2020, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July, which will knock him out for a sizable chunk of the 2021 season as well.
Thank you to the @Angels organization for taking a chance on me in 2014, and allowing me to chase a career I’ve always wanted. Thankful for the relationships I have made over the years! Looking forward to new beginnings!— Justin Anderson (@janderson_22) December 3, 2020
The lefty Milner had an 8.10 ERA in 19 games last year, allowing 12 runs in 13⅓ innings, with 13 strikeouts
After the non-tenders, the Angels still have seven players eligible for arbitration this offseason — Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Max Stassi, Noé Ramirez, Felix Peña, Mike Mayers, and Shohei Ohtani.
With these moves, plus the addition earlier Wednesday of shortstop Jose Iglesias via trade from Baltimore, the Angels have 34 players on the 40-man roster.