LA Angels cut 4, including Williams, Hanson

The Los Angeles Angels did not offer contracts to starting

pitchers Jerome Williams and Tommy Hanson on Monday night, making

them free agents.

The Angels also didn’t offer deals to reliever Juan Gutierrez

and third baseman Chris Nelson.

With a projected 2014 payroll nearing the luxury tax threshold

of $189 million, the Angels’ decisions likely saved them roughly

$10 million, possibly enough to add starting pitching to a thin

rotation.

Los Angeles tendered contracts to five arbitration-eligible

players: designated hitter Mark Trumbo, new third baseman David

Freese, closer Ernesto Frieri and relievers Kevin Jepsen and

Fernando Salas.

The Angels decided to part ways with Williams, who revitalized

his career with the club in 2011 after three years out of the

majors. The right-hander went 19-18 in 79 appearances with Los

Angeles, making 25 starts this year while serving as a dependable

arm on a disappointing pitching staff.

”I wanna thank the Angels organization for the opportunity to

get back in the big leagues,” Williams posted on his Twitter

account. ”It’s been an awesome time. Met new faces and even better

people. Wish all the guys luck in the next upcoming year. Now it’s

time to move on to the next chapter.”

The Angels’ starting pitching struggled for most of last season,

their fourth straight out of the playoffs. Their returning starters

are Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards after they were

outbid last month for left-hander Jason Vargas, who got a

four-year, $32 million deal in Kansas City.

Hanson flopped in his only season back in his native Southern

California, going 4-3 with a 5.42 ERA and a demotion to the minors.

Los Angeles acquired him from Atlanta for reliever Jordan Walden

last winter.

The Angels also have right-hander Joe Blanton under contract for

$7.5 million next season despite his dismal debut with the club,

going 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA and a midseason ouster from the

rotation.

Nelson was the Angels’ starting third baseman in August, but

missed the rest of his only season in Anaheim with an injured

hamstring. Freese will be Los Angeles’ third baseman after arriving

last month in a trade with St. Louis.