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Arbitration (and Third Base)

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I hate the thought that the Angels could play David Freese and Gordon Beckham a combination of $11 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Now I don't they actually will, but that total estimate seems to make it clear that they won't. I mean how could they? Even $5-6M for one seems like too much. But they have to, right? They're not going to get the Panda, although I wouldn't be surprised to see his agent use other teams as leverage with the Giants.


Maybe they sign Chase Headley or Casey McGehee and let both Freese and Beckham go? McGehee is decent but really isn't much better than Freese. Headley's 2012 is now looking like an outlier, but he's a solid hitter and strong defender.


And now we have Baldoquin in the mix, who seems to project as the Angels' future third baseman - especially with the Kaleb Cowart debacle (in case you're wondering, Kaleb's hitting .183/.234/.250 in 15 AFL games).


The more I think about it, the Angels probably should just offer Freese arbitration, let Beckham go, and focus on improving the rotation.

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It does seem absurd to end up paying so much money to so little talent by choice. As much as Freese is not worth that much, it's not enough of an overpay for me to not want to offer him arbitration. I think if we tender him there's a chance we could deal him, or he'll be a bit above replacement level if we keep him.


As for Beckham, he's freaking terrible and the prospect of him being a starter for us is horrifying. I'll be scared if we tender him because I'll be concerned that he'll have a significant role on next year's team.

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Beckham seems very tied to what happens with Howie, but I think Freese will be here next year no matter what. If Howie stays, I think they offer Freese arbitration and say goodbye to Beckham. If Howie is traded (for say a cost-controlled SP prospect), I could actually see both Freese and Beckham staying.

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Dec 2 is the deadline for offering arbitration. If Howie or Freese is traded by then, Beckham gets arbitration and makes $5m and starts. If both are still here, they non-tender him and try to sign him for less to be a backup. Of course Beckham could then walk and try to sign elsewhere.

Jeff, any chance the Angels pursue Chase Headley (signing him before Dec 2) and non-tender Freese? It would seem to me that Headley at 9-10 mil per year (if in fact he can be signed for that) is a better value than Freese at 7-8. I have to believe Dipoto knows the additional value Headley brings with his defense.

Edited by wopphil
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I get the feeling the Yanks are going to be willing to pay heavily for Headley so they can find some way out of the coming A-Rod nightmare. What about signing Callaspo, isn't he a free agent now? Coming off a down year, and not too exciting, but I think he could probably match the production of Freese/Beckham for a lot less. The list of free agents at third is awfully thin.

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