Angels catcher Jeff Mathis in limbo after Chris Iannetta trade
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The agent for Jeff Mathis said on Thursday that neither he nor the in-limbo catcher has ‘heard a peep’ from the Angels since the team acquired Chris Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies to be their everyday catcher on Wednesday.
The Angels have until Dec. 12 to offer the arbitration-eligible Mathis a 2012 contract, and there are indications the five-year veteran, who made $1.7 million in 2011, will either be nontendered, which would make him a free agent, or traded.
‘He’s been with the Angels [organization] for 11 years, so it’s going to be bittersweet,’ agent BB Abbott said of the likelihood Mathis would be moving on. ‘But as I cautioned him, until they make a move he’s still an Angel. He has some conflicting feelings.’
Mathis has always been an above-average defensive catcher but has been one of baseball’s weakest hitters with a career .194 average, .257 on-base percentage, 26 home runs and 139 runs batted in. He had his worst offensive season in 2011, with a .174 average, .225 OBP, three homers and 22 RBIs.
New General Manager Jerry Dipoto made it clear from the day he got the job in late October that he wanted to improve the team’s offensive production behind the plate, and in Iannetta he got a 28-year-old veteran with a .357 career on-base percentage and decent power.
‘I know how some of those pitchers in the Angels rotation feel about throwing to Jeff, but Jerry is doing what’s best for the organization,’ Abbott said. ‘This is how baseball works.’
-- Mike DiGiovanna