Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com passes along word from “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” that the Angels plan to decline their 2013 options on Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
Haren’s option is for $15.5 million with a $3.5 million buyout and Santana’s option is for $13 million with a $1 million buyout.
And then, according to Gonzalez, the Angels will “focus their efforts on signing Zack Greinke to a multi-year extension.”
That may be easier said than done, of course, and Gonzalez speculates that Greinke’s price tag will be around $125 million for six years, but the Angels obviously aren’t short on cash and clearing Haren and Santana off the books would certainly leave their rotation wide open for a huge Greinke investment.
Haren has been a front-line starter in the past, but the 32-year-old has struggled through back problems this season while posting a 4.35 ERA. Santana’s overall ERA is 4.93 ERA and the Angels are no doubt getting sick of the 29-year-old’s inconsistency, but he does have a 2.88 ERA and .175 opponents’ batting average in nine starts since August 1.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.