The Angels avoided arbitration with pitcher Hector Santiago, agreeing to terms with the left-hander on a 2016 contract for $5 million.
Santiago, 28, made the American League All-Star team last season, going 9-9 with a 3.59 earned-run average in 33 games, striking out 162 and walking 71 in a career-high 180 2/3 innings. He went 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA in 18 first-half games but struggled after the All-Star break, going 3-5 with a 5.47 ERA in 15 games.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team trade that sent Mark Trumbo to Arizona before the 2014 season, Santiago is 15-18 with a 3.65 ERA in 63 games, 56 of them starts, in two seasons with the Angels.
With a surplus of starting pitchers and only one left-hander — Jose Alvarez — in the bullpen, there is a chance the Angels might use Santiago, who has extensive experience as a reliever, out of the bullpen next season.
Santiago's relatively low salary and his attractiveness to other teams could also make him a trade target in spring training or during the season for an Angels team that could use an upgrade in left field and some more bullpen depth.
The Angels' three other arbitration-eligible players this winter are pitcher Garrett Richards, who is projected to make $6.8 million; right fielder Kole Calhoun, who is projected to make $3.6 million; and reliever Fernando Salas, who is projected to make $2.2 million.