If the Los Angeles Angels decide to sign another starting pitcher, they might be focused more on a lower tier of free agents that would likely agree to a one-year deal rather than someone like Bronson Arroyo, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
The Angels may choose not to sign any extra pitchers at all and just head into the season with their current starting contingent, however. They reportedly are not showing a great sense of need, nor are they rushing to bring a new player in quickly.
Los Angeles had reportedly been one of the top remaining candidates to sign Arroyo, but with the latest report it appears they will avoid signing him or Paul Maholm to a multi-year contract. Arroyo has allegedly been looking for a three-year deal this offseason and, though it has appeared he was close to signing at times, has yet to receive an offer that he likes.
Instead of a more major signing, the Angels turn their focus to cheaper players like Chris Capuano or Jason Hammel. Neither pitcher could be construed as someone who would make the difference in a divisional race, but they have their value and, most importantly, they would likely come on a short contract. Either pitcher could also be insurance in case the recently-acquired Tyler Skaggs or Hector Santiago flounders out of the gate next season.
Capuano would be in a familiar setting if he signed with the Angels. He has spent the last two seasons in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and posted a 4.26 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 24 appearances with the team in 2013. Hammel has most recently been with the Orioles, where he had a 4.97 ERA and 1.46 WHIP last year. Hammel had a 3.43 ERA in 2012, the only time in his career he dropped below 4.30 in that statistic.
Currently, the Angels rotation has Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards as apparent locks, with Santiago, Skaggs, and Joe Blanton likely competing for the final two spots. Adding depth to that staff certainly could not hurt.
The added benefit of bringing in a Capuano or Hammel type would be the easier management of payroll. Los Angeles already has several inflated contracts on the books, of course, with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton owed another $286 million between them and Wilson and Weaver both signed to big deals through 2016. A future Mike Trout extension is probably always in the back of the minds of Angels' management. Refraining from adding any additional multi-year contracts may be important as they look to lock up their star outfielder in the future.