Angels’ La Stella, Robles get raises, skip arbitration
La Stella got a raise from $1.35 million to $3.25 million, and Robles will jump from $1.4 million to $3.85 million. The Angels also agreed to contracts with starters Andrew Heaney ($4.3 million, up from $3.4 million) and Dylan Bundy ($5 million, up from $2.8 million), and relievers Noé Ramirez ($900,000) and Keynan Middleton ($800,000).
Los Angeles couldn’t reach agreement with outfielder Brian Goodwin and is headed toward salary arbitration. Goodwin is seeking $2.2 million and the Angels have offered $1.85 million.
La Stella had a breakout season that was spoiled by a broken right leg in July. The 30-year-old set career highs with a .295 average, 16 homers and 44 RBIs in 80 games and made his first All-Star team, but he was unable to play in the game due to his injury.
Robles had 23 saves and became a fan favorite for the bizarre music and video — inspired by pro wrestler The Undertaker — that plays at Angels Stadium when he enters games. The 29-year-old right-hander posted a career-best 2.48 ERA in 71 games.
The Angels still believe in Heaney, a 28-year-old, oft-injured veteran with just 20 career victories. He went 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 starts last season after missing the first two months with elbow inflammation and a big midseason chunk with a shoulder injury. He has a good shot at a spot in the Halos’ rotation again this season.
Los Angeles acquired Bundy from Baltimore in December in a trade for four low-level prospects. Los Angeles will slot him right into the rotation for a roster that had just one pitcher throw 100 innings last season. Bundy threw at least 161 innings in each of the last three seasons with the O’s.
The Angels acquired Stassi from Houston on July 31, and he batted .071 with two RBIs in 20 games. He is expected to team up with new signee Jason Castro as the Halos’ duo behind the plate this season.
Middleton made 11 strong relief appearances in September in his first action since having Tommy John surgery in early 2018. The Angels are hoping to get a second full season out of the hard-throwing reliever who looked like their closer of the future before his elbow woes.
Ramirez went 5-4 with a 3.99 ERA in the Cal State Fullerton product’s second full season with the Halos, who claimed him on waivers and immediately put him in the bullpen. He is expected to have a significant relief role again this season.
Goodwin was one of the Angels’ few pleasant surprises last season. The veteran batted .262 with career highs of 17 homers and 47 RBIs after they claimed him off waivers from Kansas City right before the regular season began. Goodwin is likely to be the Angels’ starting right fielder after the winter departure of Kole Calhoun, at least until No. 1 prospect Jo Adell reaches the majors.
Los Angeles also announced it was releasing left-hander Adalberto Mejia.
On Thursday, relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year deal and catcher Max Stassi reached an $800,000, one-year agreement to skip arbitration.