The Angels enter the off season with $50 million in expiring contracts. The club, roughly, had a payroll of $114M in 2009. I will give my suggestions on what the team needs to do as they prepare for 2010. Note: Current player age in parenthesis, followed by 2009 salary.
Vladimir Guererro (35) $15M - Vladdy had a good post season, but his bat is slowing down and the injuries continue to mount. The Angels would be wise to look hard at replacing Big Daddy at DH with Hank Blalock, Aubrey Huff or Adam LaRoche (Gives the club the option of moving Kendry Morales from 1B to RF if they can't resign Abreu).
Kelvim Escobar (33) $9.5M - Halos can replace his power arm internally with Jose Arredondo ($400K).
John Lackey (31) $9M - Lackey is a horse and, unquestionably, a bull dog on the bump, but is he worth upwards of $80M and five years? I believe the club will make a Lackey a strong offer, but some cheaper, albeit, riskier alternatives are out there in Brett Myers, Erik Bedard, Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Tim Hudson (mutual option with Braves for 2010), Brad Penny and Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman.
Chone Figgins (32) $5.77M - Love Figgins' versatility, but as an everyday third baseman Figgy is valuable but not at the reported price tag of five years and $50M. I'd roll the dice on Brandon Wood and, worse case scenario, have Macier Izturis as a platoon - back up option. If Troy Glaus can prove his shoulder is healthy, he'd be welcomed back in Anaheim on an incentive laden deal.
Bobby Abreu (36) $6M (including incentives) - The Angels should offer Abreu a one-year contract with an option for $8.5 M. If that doesn't get it done, and it likely won't, the club should make a serious play for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday to play LF, moving Juan Rivera to RF.
Darren Oliver (39) $3.7M - D.O. might retire, he'd be worth a one year deal at about the same terms. The free agent market is heavy with quality south paw relievers Mike Gonzalez, Joe Beimel, Billy Wagner and John Grabow.
Rob Quinlan $1.1M - Quinny has seen his role decrease the past few years. He's still a decent bench bat and can play the corner infield and OF spots. The club could offer him another one year deal or fill the same role internally. Juan Uribe might be an interesting choice to replace Quinlan and provide insurance for the Brandon Wood experiment at 3B.
The $50M ($41 if counting the salary due Scott Kazmir) can wisely be spent on four very good players - Hank Blalock ($8.5M 2 yrs + option), Jason Bay ($18.5M 4 years + option), Rich Harden ($9M 2 yrs + option), John Grabow ($3.7 M 2yrs) - still leaving room for extensions, in season trades and the draft budget. The Angels will get back Scott Shields to fortify the bullpen.
What are your thoughts?