Eppler’s Domain: Arbitration, Choi, Wieters

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Angels Make Quick Work Of Arbitration

With some guys being let go, a lot of young faces, and the handful of big contracts, Billy Eppler and his arbitration eligible cases wasted no time getting deals done. Here are the established salaries:

Garrett Richards — $6.85 million

Kole Calhoun — $6.35 million (Super Two)

Matt Shoemaker — $3.325 million

Danny Espinosa — $5.425 million

With this being such a fast endeavor, and a rather cheap group, Eppler can now jump right back into doing what he’s doing all offseason. More moves are likely to come as the Halos’ second year GM has been hogging the phone lines all winter.

 

The Choi Era Is Over

  • Choi was designated for assignment after the signing of Ben Revere in late December. He was signed by the Yankees on Monday.

 

Wieters Is On The Radar

Reports all over the place had the Angels linked to Matt Wieters. Everywhere from MLB Trade Rumors to Jon Heyman to MLB.com rushed to dish this out because they knew it would cause a stir considering the controversy over the club’s ability to contend, and the approach Eppler is taking. No matter the case, it’s worth a shot.

Here’s why.

While there are some who would balk at this, when looking deeper into the numbers, it turns out that the former Orioles backstop has slightly better average WAR value per 650 plate appearances (3.4) as both Carlos Perez (2.4) and Martin Maldonado (2.3).

Last season Wieters was at 1.7 WAR in 124 games, while Maldonado accumulated 0.8 WAR in 76 games, and Perez added 0.6 in 82 games. That’s 1.4 WAR over 158 games. So Wieters has the edge in terms of WAR value. And then you can then take your pick between Maldonado and Perez.

Although Wieters doesn’t feature Molinaesque defense behind the dish, he does possess something the Angels really lacked the last two seasons: power. They added decent pop in Cameron Maybin and a potential 20-25 homeruns in Espinosa. But the addition of Wieters would actually make the Angels’ lineup pretty dangerous all the way through the eighth spot, if you’re batting Andrelton Simmons ninth.

Wieters had a total of 52 Runs Created in 2017, which isn’t spectacular. However, Maldonado and Perez combined for 47 last season. So, again, Wieters has the slight edge in terms of adding runs to his club.

At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Wieters would bring just a bit more value than what the team already has at that spot.

So if the Angels go through with this, perhaps Maldonado or Perez are packaged in a trade as a result? Eppler did say he was making moves to pave the way for bigger transactions.

The ideal scenario would probably be to sign both Wieters and Jason Hammel. With the luxury tax going up to $195 million, Eppler has about $20 million left before the tax after the Revere signing.

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