After signing Scott Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract today, Angels general manager Tony Reagins told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he is done with his bullpen.
“Right now, we’re very satisfied with the starting pitching we have and with the bullpen we have. Now, it’s on to see what other opportunities come up.”
Many considered the Angels the favorites to land closer Rafael Soriano this winter, but after committing $33 million to Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, they will now look to upgrade in other areas.
As for who will close for the Angels next season, Mike Scioscia said Downs would likely be part of a committee with Fernando Rodney, Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden.
“If we need one or two guys at times to get the last out, we’re going to do it but I don’t think the committee’s going to be very large,” Scioscia said.
Though he wasn’t mentioned as part of the potential committee, Takahashi went 8-for-8 in save opportunities with the Mets this past season.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.