By Evan Brunell
Last season, Arte Moreno was willing to pay top dollar to get the best free agent. He ended up saving a dime by opting to trade for Vernon Wells... except that transaction didn't work out well.
This season, Moreno isn't as willing to flash his wallet, the Orange County Register reports. Moreno admitted that payroll got a bit unwieldy last season as payroll soared to a franchise-high $142 million thanks to Wells and two free-agent signings in Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi. And this year?
“I would say that $130 [million], $140 [million] range we’re pretty comfortable in,” the owner said.
The Angels have $99 million allocated to just nine players next season, so it will be difficult for the club to round out the squad with capable players. Losing Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney and Russell Branyan will help, but neither were albatrosses either. They will also shed having to pay Gary Matthews Jr. and Scott Kazmir, which works in their favor even more, but arbitration raises are due to quite a few people, and significant raises could be on the way for Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar in particular. After arbitration, the Angels could be around $120 million, which will leave them bargain-bin shopping for bullpen and rotation help.
This news likely leaves L.A. out in the cold for significant free agents, but things can change quickly.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Owner Moreno: Angels payroll to decrease
Posted on: October 29, 2011 8:01 pm