Angels likely to have payroll in $130-140 million range next season

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Some have speculated that the Angels could be a player for Jose Reyes or another high-profile free agent this winter, but if owner Arte Moreno can be believed, a big ticket item might not be in the cards.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Moreno said this afternoon that the Angels will likely have a payroll in the $130-140 range in 2012. The Angels had a team record $142 million payroll in 2011 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

The Angels already have around $100 million tied up in just nine players next season. Yes, Vernon Wells is the albatross that keeps on giving. Assuming they tender contracts to Jerome Williams, Kendrys Morales, Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick, they will be somewhere around $120 million. Unless new general manager Jerry Dipoto can get creative, that leaves little wiggle room for a major addition via free agency.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.