Do you like Alberto Callaspo? Were you hoping the Angels would move on from him either during this season or after it? Well, it sucks to be you because the Angels not only avoided arbitration with Callaspo for 2013, but also bought out his first year of free agency in 2014 as well.
Through industry source, Callaspo's deal with the #Angels essentially done, pending physical. Two years, close to $9M. No 3rd-year option.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 18, 2013
I'll be honest, it is the second-year of the deal that even made this worthy of a stand-alone post and not just top billing in tomorrow's Halo Headlines. Callaspo is a good fielder, but he has struggled with the bat in two of his three seasons since the Angels traded for him, which is what most people tend to focus on when they criticize him. What they overlook is that the talent pool at third base in the majors is shallower than a kiddie pool after a Bartolo Colon cannonball.
Upgrading over Callaspo via trade was never going to be affordable. Finding a replacement after the season in free agency was going to be near impossible as well since Callaspo was going to be arguably the second-best third baseman on the market after Martin Prado. Considering that, this signing was something of a steal. Alberto has proven to be, at worst, a 1.5 win player and had a 3.7 win season in 2011 and 2.7 win season in 2012 yet with an average annual value of $4.5 million, the Halos just secured him for the price of one win. That's not too shabby, even if you aren't a fan of Callaspo.
Of course, the real point of this deal isn't keeping Callaspo because the organization covets him so much as keeping Callaspo because they covet having somebody around to keep the hot corner warm until top prospect Kaleb Cowart is ready, which figures to be the 2015 season. How convenient? It is almost like they planned that or something. Weird.
This now leaves Kevin Jepsen, Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas as the arbitration eligible players for the Angels. At this point, none of them seem like a candidate for a multi-year deal, but neither did Callaspo, so who knows what will happen.