The Los Angeles Angels have multiple players set to undergo salary arbitration, and the group is headlined by Taylor Ward, Patrick Sandoval, Hunter Renfroe, Gio Urshela, and Jared Walsh among the most notable.
The Angels’ active payroll sits at $155.3 million, and according to Spotrac projections, their arbitration payroll should account for roughly $35 million on top of their current roster average annual value (AAV).
After swinging trades to land Renfroe and Urshela, the Angels’ total number of arbitration-eligible players stands at nine. General manager Arte Moreno brought the productive veterans in with the understanding they would not only cost prospect capital but were in line for raises following solid 2022 seasons.
The newly acquired duo are scheduled to earn the most among their arbitration-eligible players, with Renfroe coming in at a projected $11.2 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors:
Griffin Canning (3.075): $1.1MM
Luis Rengifo (3.043): $2.4MM
Jaime Barria (3.035): $1.2MM
Chad Wallach (3.030): $800K
Jared Walsh (3.010): $2.7MM
Taylor Ward (2.164): $2.9MM
Patrick Sandoval (2.149): $2.8MM
Urshela is projected to earn a sizable bump up to $9.2 million after a few years with the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. Renfroe, on the other hand, will be playing for his fifth team in his prior five MLB seasons.
Following the trade from the Milwaukee Brewers, Renfroe took a parting shot at his former club, mentioning he could see the writing on the wall as a veteran outfielder on the verge of free agency. On a team that is without much of a direction offensively, he would have been one of the highest-paid members of the Brewers. Just last season, Renfroe clubbed 29 home runs, batting .255 and posting a 126 OPS+.
What made Urshela appealing to Minasian and his plan to provide the Angels with flexibility, aside from his ability to play multiple infield spots, is his consistent bat. In his one season with the Twins, he slashed .285/.338/.429 and posted the third-highest OPS+ of his seven-year career.
Ward became one of the hottest names in baseball for a decent slice of 2022, getting off to a hot start before the injury bug began to slow him down, and effectively ended what was a career breakout for the 29-year-old. But overall, in 135 games, he hit 23 home runs while carrying a .360 on-base percentage, both career highs.
Sandoval, 26, became a rock for manager Phil Nevin and the Angels. His refined ability to work through traffic on the bases and compete helped him collect a 2.91 ERA across 27 starts. He isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until 2027, so his increased production met the expectations of providing him with a larger role in a relatively youthful starting staff.
Jaime Barria is a name to watch out for this upcoming season, and after staying under the radar, posted a career-low 2.61 ERA in 35 appearances for the Angels last season. after being used in both mop-up duty and long relief, his improved stuff propelled him to a solid raise.
The future of the Angels, and how Perry Minasian felt about the ‘green light’ to spend
The Angels made headlines this past August when owner Arte Moreno announced he was exploring a sale of the franchise. The 76-year-old has owned the Angels since 2003, but he is hoping to find a new buyer by Opening Day.
Despite being in the process of selling the team, the Angels have been very active this offseason, which isn’t common during these types of situations.
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