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Is Trevor Bauer the final piece?




By @angelsnationtalk, AngelsWin.com Contributor

Before we get started let's look at the 5 majors additions the Angels have made so far in 2020.
Traded for RP Raisel Iglesias (+$9.125M)
Traded for SS Jose Iglesias (+3.5M)
Signed RP Alex Claudio (+$1.125M)
Signed C Kurt Suzuki (+$1.5M)
Signed SP Jose Quintana (+8M)
Total adds an additional $23.25M to the 2021 payroll.

Here's what is interesting. All of these players become free agents after the 2021 season. 

The cost for 2021: $23.25M
The cost for 2022: $0. 
Opening Day payroll: $173,413,096
CB Tax Payroll: $185,933,334
Tax Space: $24,066,666

Arte Moreno said to reporters while introducing Perry Minasian as the Angels' new GM that the payroll will not go down. This has been justified as the Angels will have their highest Opening Day payroll in club history at roughly $173.4M.

The most important piece of this entire story is that none of these acquisitions for the Angels impact their future 2022 payroll obligations and beyond. 

Here is where things get very interesting. This is the first year since around 2015-2016 where the division is up for grabs. The Angels have the best chances to win the AL West. Arte Moreno has also said in the past that he wouldn't be concerned about going over the luxury tax if it was for the right player.

Well, with a new CBA likely needed to begin the 2022 we could see some drastic changes to payroll that might not even bother Arte Moreno. First thing is what will the tax threshold be? It's currently set at $210M for 2021. After that it's up for a negotiation. Will it be $215M? $220M? or even $250M? No one knows. But what we can guess is that if the threshold goes up (yes, Arte has said he cares about actual payroll and not AAV/threshold numbers), then the Angels have reached their opportunity to push the budget for 2021 and let it reset for 2022. 
Arte Moreno has publicly put himself on the hot seat by firing Billy Eppler and publicly announcing they were having serious internal talks (including with Trout) about what needs to be fixed. And yes, they acknowledged they need rotation help. The Angels have spent the last couple of seasons signing 1yr deals to starting pitchers with major question marks. Take Harvey, Cahill and Teheran for example. Anyone else get that Deja Vu feeling with a 1yr deal to Quintana?

The Angels aren't done. Pujols' contract is off the books in 2022 and the Angels will reset the payroll a bit with that. Trevor Bauer is next for the Angels. The front office knows the upset that will happen if we skip out on another year for a top rotation piece. 

I'll leave it with a quote from Angels President, Jon Carpino from a story by @Jeff Fletcher back in September talking about how they feel with Mike Trout.
“We feel tremendous responsibility to Mike,” Carpino said. “We believe he’s one of the greatest players… Being able to surround Mike, to be able to perform on the game’s greatest stage… Yeah, we feel it every day.”

See you soon, Trevor Bauer.

Photo credit to https://twitter.com/escobedo49 / https://enriqueescobedo.myportfolio.com/


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