Let the Matt Holliday free agent speculation begin. From Buster Olney:
"But I'll venture a guess (and it's nothing more at this point): Holliday winds up signing with the Angels, effectively replacing Vladimir Guerrero within their salary structure."
Now comes the obvious question: could it actually happen?
—Angels have a ton of money coming off the books this offseason. Between Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, John Lackey, Bobby Abreu, and Kelvim Escobar, the Angels will clear roughly $44 million dollars entering this offseason. The potential is definitely there for the Angels to make a big splash if they choose to invest that money in free agency.
—Holliday would be a fantastic choice to replace Vladimir Guerrero in the outfield!
—Every offseason, the Angels are linked to most of the major free agents as a possible destination. But in the past five years, there are only two major free agents, who I can think of that came to the Angels at top level prices: Torri Hunter and Gary Matthews Jr., who was actually from the area.
Remember that Vladimir Guerrero and Brian Fuentes both signed with the Angels after taking less than each expected on the open market and having their price tag come down to a level that the Angels felt comfortable with. I'd love to see the Angels make a big splash as much as anyone, but the Angels have been content over the years to take chances on mid level free agents and build through the farm. We'll see if that changes.
—By my count, the Angels will have a number of players due for raises this offseason: Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, Jered Weaver, Mike Napoli, and Maicer Izturis.
When it's all said and done, the raises given out to those will chip away at the Angels' financial flexibility.
—And finally, the Angels might look to re-sign some of their own players this offseason. While I expect them to let Escobar, Lackey, and Guerrero walk; it would not surprise me to see the Angels make a strong run to retain both Figgins and Abreu. Re-signing those two guys (at least) would further chip away at the amount of funds the Angels have to play with this offseason.
For more on Matt Holliday's impending free agency, click here.
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