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.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.