Angels closer Huston Street making progress toward contract extension
If Huston Street can’t work out a contract extension with the Angels this spring, he will have only himself to blame.
The veteran closer has acted as his own agent since 2012, when he negotiated a two-year, $14-million deal with San Diego. He says he’s had “steady” dialogue with Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto about a new contract since December.
“I think agents are beneficial to a lot of guys who are fringe players or superstars,” Street said on Thursday, as the Angels’ pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. “How do you say no to $130 million and end up getting $180 million? It takes an agent.
“I’m not one of those guys. I’m pretty slotted within a range of what I believe is fair, of guys I’m comparable to. I don’t have anything negative toward agents. I just felt like I could handle my own business.”
The market for established closers hasn’t fluctuated much, with most earning between $10 million and $12 million a year, so there isn’t as much wiggle room in negotiations as there is for starting pitchers or position players. Street, 31, is slated to make $7 million this season after the Angels exercised his 2015 option.
Acquired from the San Diego Padres last July, Street has a record of 36-29 with a 2.82 earned-run average and 275 saves in 10 seasons. He has converted 97 of 103 save opportunities since 2012, a major league-best 94.2% conversion rate.
Street is looking for a four-year deal that would begin in 2015, replacing his current contract, and pay between what closer David Robertson received from the Chicago White Sox (four years, $46 million) and setup man Andrew Miller got from the New York Yankees (four years, $36 million) this winter.
“If you look at what Robertson and Miller got, maybe somewhere between them is justifiable and fair,” Street said. “It’s a principle thing. I have the best save percentage in baseball for the last four or five years. What is that guy worth?”
Street, who relies on control and deception, is confident he will come to an agreement before the April 6 opener, though he wouldn’t set that date as a deadline for negotiations.
“I think there’s enough there for us to get something done if they want to,” Street said. “I love the Angels, and as a closer there’s no better place to be than on a team that wins. My job needs a winning team for me to matter.”
Third baseman David Freese (left ankle) and first baseman C.J. Cron (right wrist) had minor surgical procedures during the off-season, but Manager Mike Scioscia said both have been cleared for full baseball activities. … Left fielder Josh Hamilton, who had surgery Feb. 4 on his right shoulder, is rehabilitating in Houston. … Even with Hamilton, the projected cleanup hitter, expected to open the season on the disabled list, Scioscia is learning toward batting Mike Trout second and Albert Pujols third. “Looking at some of the studies that have been done, the two-spot really fits [Trout] right now,” Scioscia said. … Pitcher Matt Shoemaker, who went 16-4 with a 2.94 ERA last season, has lost about 30 pounds, from 240 to 210, but he said he’s lost the same amount for seven straight winters and will gain much of it back during the season. “I do it intentionally,” he said. “I was kind of a fat kid. I gain weight really easily.”
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