Sunday, January 20, 2013

Angels Avoid Arbitration With Hanson, Vargas; Nearing Deal With Callaspo

          The Angels organization has announced that they have reached one year deals with LHP Jason Vargas and RHP Tommy Hanson, avoiding arbitration. The club is also close to signing third baseman Alberto Callaspo to a two year deal, however the deal cannot be made official until Callaspo returns from Venezuela to take his physical. Vargas, 29, and Hanson, 26, were both acquired this past offseason via trade while Callaspo, 29, has been the club's primary third baseman since being traded for back in 2010. Vargas and Hanson are expected to fill the holes left in the Angels rotation after the departures of Dan Haren, Zack Greinke and Ervin Santana this offseason. While there names may not be as big as Haren, Gerienke and/or Santana, stats have proven that the new duo may be just as good, if not better considering the money they saved while letting the threesome sign elsewhere. Vargas's deal is expected to be worth around $8.5 million while Hanson's deal is around $3.725 million. Callaspo was originally signed by the Angels in 2001 however never appeared in a big league game with the club until being traded from the Kansas City Royals back in July of 2010. The switch hitter has split time at third base with Macier Izturis however was the primary starter at the position for most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. This past year Callaspo batted .252 while hitting 10 home runs and driving in 53 runs while playing exceptionally well defensively at the hot corner. His deal is expected to be around $9 million over two years. The deal through 2014 now gives time for the Angels' #1 prospect Kaleb Cowart to develop and eventually take over the third base spot. Cowart is expected to start out the season in double-A Arkansas after playing with Cedar Rapids and Inland Empire this past season. He is expected to crack the majors in 2014, right when Callaspo's contract is up. Hopefully all three of these players can have a sensational 2013 season and help lead the Halos to another World Series!    

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