Figgins, Santana, three others returning
Angels offer contracts to all arbitration-eligible players
The Angels tendered contracts to all five of their arbitration-eligible players Friday, keeping their rights to Chone Figgins, Robb Quinlan, Maicer Izturis, Ervin Santana and Mike Napoli.
The quintet will go through the arbitration process by which players tendered contracts exchange salary arbitration figures with their clubs between Jan. 5-15 -- unless a deal is struck before that time. If an agreement isn't reached after salary figures are submitted, arbitration hearings from Feb. 1-21 resolve the issue.
Figgins, with five years and 145 days of Major League service, earned $4.75 million in 2008 and can anticipate a healthy raise after another solid season. He batted .276 with a .367 on-base percentage, leading the team in steals with 34 despite missing six weeks with a hamstring injury. Figgins was among the most efficient third basemen in the game defensively.
Appearing in 68 games and getting 179 plate appearances, Quinlan batted .262 in 2008 with one homer and 11 RBIs. He made 44 starts, 28 at third base, and also appeared at first base and in left and right field. A .285 career hitter with a $1.05 million salary in 2008, he has five years and 40 days of service time.
Izturis, sharing shortstop with Erick Aybar for most of the season, batted .269 in 79 games while playing superb defense. He tore a ligament in his left thumb diving for a ball on Aug. 13, requiring surgery, and was lost for the season. He has returned to action in winter ball in Venezuela, batting .297 in 11 games. Izturis, who made $1.2 million in 2008, has four years and 38 days of Major League service time.
Santana, whose 2008 salary was $420,000, is in line for a big pay hike following an All-Star season. He was 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 214 strikeouts in 219 innings, both team highs. With three years, 104 days of service time, he has more career victories (51) than any pitcher his age or younger in the Majors.
Napoli produced 20 homers and 49 RBIs while batting .273 in 78 games while making $425,000. A midseason shoulder injury took a big chunk out of his season, limiting him to a total of 12 games in June and July, but he roared down the stretch and put on the show of his life in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against Boston, hitting a pair of homers and scoring the game-winning run. He has two years, 151 days of service time.
It had been speculated that the Angels would not tender a contract offer to Quinlan, making him a free agent while freeing roster space for a versatile young player such as Sean Rodriguez or Matt Brown.
"Obviously, as a competitor, Robb would like the opportunity to contribute more on a daily basis," Joe Speed, Quinlan's agent, said. "Having said that, he's coming back to a class organization, one that is committed to winning, and a place where he has a great comfort level."
Veteran reliever Darren Oliver accepted an arbitration offer and also will go through the process. Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez and Jon Garland declined arbitration, and Garret Anderson was not offered arbitration.
Rodriguez, who went to arbitration with the Angels in February and was awarded $10 million while losing his case, signed a three-year deal with the Mets with a vesting option for a fourth year at the Winter Meetings. Teixeira, Garland, Anderson and Juan Rivera are open to offers from any of the Majors' 30 clubs.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.