Angels offer arbitration to Lackey, Figgins, not Oliver

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The Angels today offered salary arbitration to pitcher John Lackey (above) and infielder Chone Figgins. The Angels declined to offer arbitration to pitcher Darren Oliver, outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, infielder Robb Quinlan and pitcher Kelvim Escobar.

The two offers enable those players to return to Anaheim on a one-year contract, with a salary that could be determined by an arbitrator. Players must accept or reject arbitration offers by Monday. If a player rejects an offer, he can continue to negotiate with every team, including his old team.

The offers also preserve draft-pick compensation for any of those players that sign elsewhere. Lackey and Figgins are Type A free agents, meaning the Angels would get two premium draft picks for each player signing with another club. Oliver is a Type A free agent too, so the Angels forfeit draft picks should he sign elsewhere.

Guerrero is a Type B free agent. If he signs elsewhere, the Angels will not get the one premium draft pick they would have gotten had they offered him arbitration. They did not want to risk him accepting an offer, which would have locked him in at something close to $15 million for one year.

Quinlan and Escobar do not qualify for draft-pick compensation.


All free agents, including those offered arbitration by their 2009 club today, can sign with any team at any time. Players not offered arbitration are not subject to rules governing maximum pay cuts, so Guerrero theoretically could return to the Angels for one year at something closer to $5 million.

-- Bill Shaikin