It’s been eight years since the Angels have gone into an MLB mediator’s room, sat across from one of their players and taken part in a salary arbitration process that can turn ugly.
The streak continues. The Angels on Friday agreed to sign their remaining arbitration-eligible players to one-year contracts. As teams around baseball receive hearing dates and prepare to either attend or continue negotiations, the Angels successfully avoided the potential of eight trials and sidestepped arbitration altogether.
Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who appeared poised for his first All-Star game last season before an injury wrecked his chances, nearly doubled his 2018 salary and settled for $3.7 million. After making 30 starts for the first time in his career, fellow left-hander Andrew Heaney agreed to a contract worth $3.4 million, receiving a $2.6-million raise in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Right-hander Cam Bedrosian will earn $1.75 million, and bullpen mates Luis Garcia $1.675 million and Hansel Robles $1.4 million. Infielder Tommy La Stella, whom the Angels acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a November trade, signed for $1.35 million.
The Angels haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since former ace Jered Weaver and agent Scott Boras forced the issue in 2011. The Angels won the decision and saved $1.435 million, but their relationship with Weaver did not sour. Six months later, Weaver signed a five-year, $85-million extension that carried him through 2016.
An arbitration contract is not guaranteed until the player is placed on a 25-man roster at the start of the season. Clubs will be responsible for only a portion of the salary if a player does not earn a major league spot out of spring training.