Ernesto Frieri and the Angels avoid arbitration with a one-year deal

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The Angels and reliever Ernesto Frieri have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.8 million deal, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Frieri, 28, was eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career and can become a free agent after the 2016 season.

Frieri’s 3.80 ERA in 2013 was a career-high, but it is also a bit misleading. Five of the 29 earned runs he allowed all season came in one appearance which lasted one-third of an inning on July 23 against the Twins. Without that meltdown, his ERA would have been 3.16, which is a bit more in line with what we would expect based on his tremendous strikeout rate.

The Angels also signed free agent Joe Smith to a three-year, $15 million contract in late November. In the event Frieri struggles, the Angels have adequate backup.