Erick Aybar will be the Angels shortstop for the foreseeable future. According to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Aybar will a four-year, $35 million dollar extension which means he will be paired with Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols through the 2016 season. The deal is expected to be officially announced by the team when Aybar is presented with his Gold Glove award tomorrow. So who are the winners and losers here…let’s break it down:
Winner: The Angels — Aybar’s age, ability and position would have meant a much larger deal had he hit the open market, so getting Erick for a team friendly deal that is not really that long seems to be a win for the Halos. I imagine the Red Sox in particular are annoyed by this development as it would have been an obvious play for them to sign Aybar to fill their gaping hole at short. So anytime the Halos can get a deal and stick it to the Sox is a win in my mind.
Loser: Jean Segura — With this signing, Segura now is blocked from any real shot at being the Angel shortstop. This will put him in play as the essential trade piece in any deal for relief help for the big club. Segura proved his worth over the Spring so I would imagine Jerry Dipoto will get some calls here in the next week or so inquiring about Segura.
Winner: Jerry Dipoto — It’s one thing to land a big name free agent or two. It’s another to keep your house in order without breaking the bank. I count this and the Kendrick signing as two really shrewd moves on JeDi’s part. He has probably saved the Angels $30 million. Makes you wonder what Tony Reagins would have done in this case.
Loser: Maicer Itzuris — With Kendrick and Aybar now signed to big time deals and Callaspo establishing himself as the go to third baseman (along with the Mark Trumbo Experiment), it would seem Maicer’s opportunity to play regularly is drying up. Adding to that is the fact that Alexi Amarista can do basically the same things with the added benefit of staying healthy on a regular basis.
Winner — Angel Fans: Stability in the line-up is a great thing for the fans. It makes it easier to root for the team and allows those of us that follow the day to day travails of Angels to not have to worry about keeping track of all the new faces.
Winner: Erick Aybar — Dude is getting a healthy raise to play on a championship calibar team at the prime of his career. I call that a win in any book.