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.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.