Chris Iannetta’s contract included a $5 million mutual option for 2013, but the 29-year-old catcher and the Angels have torn that up and agreed to a new three-year, $15.5 million deal that runs through 2015.
Iannetta fell out of favor in Colorado and was traded to the Angels last November for Tyler Chatwood. He missed three months in the middle of the season with a fractured wrist, but played well after returning with a .258 batting average, six homers, and a .741 OPS in 53 second-half games.
His overall numbers weren’t great, but that was to be expected once Iannetta was no longer calling Coors Field home for half his games and a solid defensive catcher with a .338 on-base percentage and a little pop is definitely starting-caliber.
Iannetta sticking around for the next three seasons is bad news for 24-year-old prospect Hank Conger’s chances of ever being the Angels’ starting catcher and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the former first-round pick shopped this offseason.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.