Angels sign David Freese and Kevin Jepsen to avoid arbitration

David Freese
David Freese scores the winning run for St. Louis against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS on Oct. 12. Freese was traded to the Angels in November.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Angels avoided arbitration with new third baseman David Freese and returning reliever Kevin Jepsen on Friday, signing Freese for $5.05 million and Jepsen for $1.46 million.

Both players settled at the exact midpoints of the difference between the salary figures they and the team exchanged in mid-January. It appeared the case of Freese, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Peter Bourjos trade in November, might go to a hearing because the sides were $1.9 million apart, a considerable gap.

Freese, the National League championship series and World Series most valuable player in 2011 for the Cardinals, hit .262 with a .340 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage, nine home runs and 60 runs batted last season.

Jepsen went 1-3 with a 4.50 earned run average in 45 games and underwent a season-ending appendectomy in late August.


With the January signings of closer Ernesto Frieri ($3.8 million) and reliever Fernando Salas ($870,000), the Angels have come to terms with all four of their arbitration-eligible players this winter.


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