December 1, 2009

Arbitration Monday - the late night edition...

As I mentioned in my last post, the Angels offered arbitration to John Lackey and Chone Figgins. No surprise there. They did not offer arbitration to Darren Oliver and for me, that was a surprise. I didn’t see that coming at all. My first reaction was to ask why not? And then Mark Polishuk of put things in the proper perspective.

Polishuk writes, "Though L.A. could have received two draft picks as compensation for Oliver had he turned down arbitration and signed with another club, there's also a chance that teams would be scared off by the prospect of losing a draft pick in order to sign a 39-year-old setup man. The Angels didn't want to run the risk of Oliver accepting the offer and possibly earning a healthy raise given his career-best 2.71 ERA and 8 K/9 in 2009."

That makes sense, but then again it shows the Angels cutting costs once more. Is this a good thing? I know the Angels are a financially prudent team, but I’ve never seen them tighten their belts this much. They’ve cut back in their administrative staff and in the broadcast booth. I’m beginning to believe the Angels might not make too big a splash in the free agent market this year. Man, I’d sure like to know what their plans entail.

If the Angels lose Oliver, Lackey and Figgins and choose not to replace them with anyone else; what will the team look like? We’ve become used to seeing the Angels spending some money each off season. Will this year be different? At this point in time, that appears to be the case and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

Let’s face it, the free agent market is somewhat weak and Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are likely to get more money than they’ll be worth. If the Angels stand pat, I’m pretty sure I can live with it. I might change my mind tomorrow, but as of tonight – I’m good. No, really I'm okay with it; at least I think so.

That being said, I will expect them to improve the club during the season if necessary.

I guess the real story in the Angels decisions today is that Darren Oliver’s stock just went up. Teams can sign him without losing any draft picks and who couldn’t use a solid left handed veteran in their bull pen? Hopefully, Oliver will want to come back to Anaheim bad enough to find some common ground with the Angels. Losing Oliver would create a pretty large void in the bull pen, in my opinion. I do not like the possibility of seeing him leave. I really just assumed Oliver would be back. Now, we'll have to wait and see.

Don't you just love waiting? Yeah, me too. Ugh.

So as we wrap up "Arbitration Monday" we find that 23 players have been offered arbitration. You can see the complete list on

One last tidbit... Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Braves have signed Billy Wagner.

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