Angels Agree To Terms With Four Arbitration-Eligible Players, Including Patrick Sandoval & Luis Rengifo
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
Jun 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval (43) pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Angels figure out their plans with regard to free agency and trades this offseason, they also had to take care of some of their in-house players. Most importantly were the six Angels players eligible for arbitration: Patrick Sandoval, Luis Rengifo, Taylor Ward, José Suarez, Griffin Canning and José Quijada.

When a player is arbitration eligible, they have the right to ask for a one-year contract value based on their on-field production. If the player’s chosen number and the number given by the Angels are far enough apart without a compromise, a judge will rule in favor of the player or the team, thus setting their contract value for the season.

Players are arbitration-eligible in their fourth, fifth and sixth MLB campaigns, generally.

In most cases, teams and players are able to agree on a compromise for a one-year contract. That was the case with four of the Angels’ six arbitration-eligible players, the most important being Sandoval and Rengifo, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:

Sandoval receives a big pay raise from 2023 despite a down year in production. He goes from a $2.75 million contract in his first arbitration year in 2023 to $5.025 million in his second arbitration year in 2024.

Rengifo saw a similar bump from Year 1 to Year 2 of arbitration, going from $2.3 million to $4.4 million. Rengifo had a career-best campaign in 2023 that saw him not only become one of the Angels most trusted players, but garnered league-wide trade interest.

Canning received a big pay raise as well — from $850,000 to $2.6 million after remaining healthy for a mostly full season. Quijada got $840,000 in his first arbitration year.

This leaves Taylor Ward and Suarez without deals. The two players were far enough apart from the Angels in their asking price that they plan to enter arbitration. The two sides can still agree on a compromise if they’d like, or a judge will settle their pay for 2024.

Perry Minasian: Angels have plenty of options

The Angels have committed to their fans that — regardless of Ohtani’s decision — they would look to win in 2024 and not rebuild. They have, on paper, a solid roster that could contend for a postseason spot if health permits. But they are a few pieces away from being legitimate threats in the American League.

Minasian isn’t worried about the players who have already signed, though. He has full faith that there remain enough strong free agents on the board for the Angels to improve their roster.

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