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Don't count the Angels out on Lackey and Figgins

Nov 12, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

CBS’s Scott Miller talks to Angels’ GM Tony Reagins who says that we shouldn’t assume that John Lackey and Chone Figgins have played their last games in Anaheim:

While that still could happen, Angels GM Tony Reagins said Wednesday that there’s “no question” the club intends to attempt to retain Lackey, as well as leadoff man Chone Figgins. Both are high atop the desirables this winter in a weak free-agent class. . .

. . . Reagins said the Angels have been in touch with Lackey’s representative, Steve Hilliard, since the season ended. “The communication has been good thus far,” Reagins said. “I think that’s what’s important.” As for Figgins, whom the Philadelphia Phillies and others have expressed interest in, Reagins says that there have been “positive lines of communication.”

I’m not sure why everyone has discounted Anaheim’s chances of re-signing Lackey and Figgins.  As of now, the Angels have a little north of $70 million in guaranteed 2010 money to Torii Hunter, Gary Matthews, Jr., Bobby Abreu, Brian Fuentes, Scott Kazmir, Scot Shields, Ervin Santana, and Juan Rivera.  They have 10 or so pre-arb players who made less than half a million last year. Most of them will get raises, but even then, that puts the team at, what, the $95 million range, tops?  Spare change rounds out the roster.

The Angels had a payroll of $113 million in 2009 and Reagins tells Miller that he expects it will be similar in 2010.  Assuming there’s at least a bit of give in those numbers, it’s at least plausible to suggest that the Angels could sign both Lackey and Figgins to long term deals without significant hometown discounts.  Yes, that means walking away from Vlad, but maybe the Angels do that anyway, covering the DH slot with Abreu and Rivera and whoever needs rest at any given time.  And let us not forget: Gary Matthews wants out of Anaheim. No, it’s not likely the Angels will find someone dumb enough to pick up a significant portion of his salary, but maybe a little of it goes away.  Crazier things have happened.

Maybe that’s a stretch, but they certainly could be players for one of those guys, and any hot stove speculation that doesn’t at least acknowledge Anaheim’s chances at signing either Figgins or Lackey – or maybe even both – is missing part of the story.

  1. Brian - Nov 12, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    I’m sorry, Craig, I’m not entirely sure you understand how the Hot Stove League works. The Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox are going to sign all available free agents. When a free agent signs with a different team, we all express shock because we had no idea that team was in on that player. When the Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox announce they are finished with major acquisitions for the off season, the Hot Stove League is over. The rest is just filler and we begin to concentrate on Spring Training.

  2. J. McCann - Nov 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    The Angels could sign both if they really wanted to go nuts. And I would normally bet on them signing one, probably Lackey.
    But with so few good free agents out there, the contracts for these 2 might be more staggering than most people would guess possible, and in that case the Angels would be fine letting them go.

  3. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    I’m sorry, Craig, I’m not entirely sure you understand how the Hot Stove League works. The Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox are going to sign all available free agents. When a free agent signs with a different team, we all express shock because we had no idea that team was in on that player. When the Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox announce they are finished with major acquisitions for the off season, the Hot Stove League is over. The rest is just filler and we begin to concentrate on Spring Training.

    heh, even as a Yankee fan, I laughed. +1 to you sir

  4. comeonman - Nov 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    100 MILLION PAYROLL, WTF CAN THEY DO WITH THAT,,,,, THEY YANKEES SHOULD BUY THE ANGELS AND USE THEIR PLAYERS AS BACK UPS AND THEN USE OUR CHAMPIONSHIP LINEUP WHEN THE POST SEASON STARTS.I WILL CALL GEORGE AND PITCH THIS TO HIM.
    THE YANKEES ARE CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL ,,,,,,,AGAIN!!!!!!

  5. comeonman - Nov 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    SO TRUE. ALL THE OTHER TEAMS ARE POOR…….. TEXAS BORROWED MONEY FROM MLB TO COVER PAYROLL LAST YEAR.WHAT A JOKE……..
    AIR JORDAN TOLD THE WIZARDS OWNER MANY YEARS AGO , IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE SALARY SELL THE TEAM……..

  6. Floyd - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Is there a way to block all comments from comeonman?

  7. Will - Nov 12, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    DUDE: COMMAS ARE NOT PERIODS. DON’T USE THEM IN PLACE OF PERIODS TO MAKE AN ELLIPSIS. ALSO ELLIPSES ARE THREE PERIODS, NOT FOUR OR FIVE. THANK YOU!!!!!

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