Luxury tax limits Angels' options to fix depleted rotation

Ken Rosenthal

Want to know why the Angels seemingly want no part of Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon?

Colon'€™s $11 million salary at age 42 next season is part of it. The $189 million luxury-tax threshold in 2015 might be an even bigger part.

The Angels already have more than $140 million committed to 10 players in tax payroll (teams are charged the average annual value of multi-year contracts for tax purposes).

Owner Arte Moreno is adamant that the team will not surpass the threshold, according to rival clubs that have spoken to the Angels.

Thus, the team is in a bind.

Colon and the Astros'€™ Scott Feldman each would count $10 million against the threshold, the Phillies'€™ A.J. Burnett $11.25 million. The DBacks' Trevor Cahill would count a mere $6.1 million, but the teams last spoke weeks ago and no deal is anticipated, a source said.

Meanwhile, the Angels lead the AL in innings pitched. They have lost two starting pitchers since the All-Star break, Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs. And they have only two more days off the rest of the season, preventing them from skipping their fifth starter.

Right now, they do not have a starter listed for a critical game Saturday against the Athletics, and seem likely to dip into the minors for a veteran journeyman such as Randy Wolf or an unproven youngster such as Michael Roth.

General manager Jerry Dipoto was creative in fixing his bullpen. It might take a magic trick for him to patch his rotation.