A team’s offseason strategy can shift a dozen different ways between now and November. But if Torii Hunter is indeed willing to re-sign with the Angels for a discount, the team’s picture could be clearer.
Hunter, a potential free agent, told the Los Angeles Times that the Angels are the “only team I want to play for” and that money “will not be an issue” in his contract negotiations.
If that’s the case — and if the Angels truly intend to keep outfielder Peter Bourjos rather than trade him — then the odd man could be designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who will be entering his final year of arbitration.
The Angels could trade or non-tender Morales. Hunter would become the fourth outfielder and share the DH role with Vernon Wells, whom the Angels, of course, also would love to trade. Wells is owed $21 million in both 2013 and ’14.
But the team, by saving money on Hunter and dropping Morales, could devote most of its resources to pitching.
The Angels hold a $15.5 million option on right-hander Dan Haren and a $13 million option on righty Ervin Santana. Declining one or both would give them the flexibility to pursue other options in the free-agent market.
— Ken Rosenthal