The Los Angeles Angels agreed to terms on one-year contracts with all three of their arbitration eligible players. Catcher Max Stassi, relief pitcher Mike Mayers, and infielder Tyler Wade all avoided arbitration by agreeing to deal’s before Tuesday’s deadline.
Stassi — who made $1.6 million last season — is entering his final year of arbitration and is slated to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022 season. By agreeing to a one-year deal, he simply avoids needing to go to arbitration and will hit free agency as expected.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Angels and Stassi agreed to terms on a contract slightly above his estimated figure for 2022.
Max Stassi and the Angels agreed on a $3 million deal for 2022, avoiding arbitration, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 22, 2022
Stassi was projected by Spotrac to make $2.7 million in 2022. Instead, after a strong, but injury-filled 2021 campaign, he’ll reportedly make $3 million to be the Angels’ starting catcher.
Meanwhile, Mayers is entering his fourth year of service time, meaning he has two more seasons of arbitration eligibility. He and the Angels reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.15 million deal to avoid arbitration in 2022. His status for the 2023 season remains unchanged as of now.
Wade is far younger than Stassi and Mayers, as he is only entering his first year of arbitration. Wade and the Angels agreed to a one-year deal as well — worth $825K reportedly — but his arbitration status for 2023 and 2024 stays the same.
Both the Mayers and Wade contract details were reported by Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
They also agreed with Mayers ($2.15m) and Wade ($825k)
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 22, 2022
All three of these players figure to have large roles with the Angels in 2022. Stassi is the team’s starting catcher, and the hope is that he will significantly increase his games played from the 87 games he appeared in last season. If his health prevails, he projects to have another strong season behind the plate.
Mayers is one of the relievers nearly guaranteed to make the Opening Day roster. Last season, Mayers was one of the team’s few reliable bullpen arms, but with the help of their many new additions, the hope is that Mayers could be even more effective in a slightly reduced role.
Wade is the player who’s 2022 role is the least clear. As of today, he is in a fierce, six-man competition for two starting middle infield spots and one utility role.
With David Fletcher taking either the second base or shortstop position, that leaves Wade, Andrew Velazquez, Matt Duffy, Luis Rengifo, and Jack Mayfield fighting for what appears to be two spots on the Opening Day roster.
Angels attempting to trade for Athletics starters
As part of the fire sale happening with the Oakland Athletics, starting pitchers Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea are on the block. The Angels, still needing one more reliable starter, are reportedly one of the teams bidding for the services of either player.
Given that the Angels have one of MLB’s weaker farm systems — and sharing a division with the Athletics — it’s unlikely they will be able to strike a deal.