Front-of-the-rotation pitchers Max Scherzer and James Shields remain available, but Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto reiterated Tuesday that he has little interest in the free-agent right-handers, both of whom could command nine-figure deals.
“We have not engaged with any free-agent pitcher at all,” Dipoto said. “We’re still committed to the guys we have. We haven’t explored anything beyond the pitching we have now.”
The Angels cleared $9 million from their luxury tax payroll when they traded veteran second baseman Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers for top pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, but signing Scherzer, who is expected to command more than $160 million, would send them past the $189-million threshold.
Dipoto said the only free agent he has had any substantive talks with is infielder Gordon Beckham, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox last August. However, the chances of retaining Beckham, who is looking for a starting job, appear slim.
The Angels have four candidates who will compete for the second-base job in Grant Green; Josh Rutledge, who was acquired from Colorado; Johnny Giavotella, who was acquired from Kansas City; and Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherson.
“The possibility exists that we’ll re-sign Gordon, but no promises,” Dipoto said. “We’ve built up quite a bit of infield depth. As much as Gordon fits our club and we want to be open to it, the likelihood is that we do have our second baseman in-house.”
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