2010 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim season

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim' 2010 season is the franchise's 50th season and 45th in Anaheim. The Angels began this season as the three-time defending American League West division champions. During the 2010 season, the Angels hosted MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium for the third time in franchise history.

2009–2010 Offseason

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had to address four vital free agencies going into the offseason, with right fielder Bobby Abreu, ace John Lackey, leadoff third baseman Chone Figgins and aging slugger Vladimir Guerrero all entering free agency. The offseason challenge for the Angels was one of the toughest in baseball with ESPN saying one of the top ten offseason questions was "Will the Angels be able to keep their team together?"[1]

Going into the postseason Angels trimmed roughly $51 million off their payroll with many of the teams highly paid stars becoming free agents: Vladimir Guerrero, Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey, Bobby Abreu, Chone Figgins, Darren Oliver and Robb Quinlan. However, the Angels also had eight player going into salary arbitration: pitchers Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders, catchers Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis, infielders Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick and outfielder Reggie Willits.[2]

On November 5, 2009 the first day eligible players could file for free agency, the Angels signed Bobby Abreu to a two year deal, with a club option for 2012.[3] Soon after, general manager Tony Reagins stated the team's focus was on re-signing Lackey and Figgins.[4] A few days later, owner Arte Moreno added he wanted to retain both Lackey and Figgins, but with limited payroll options, would have to choose just one of the two stars. "If you look at what they're asking, you can't bring both of them back", Moreno said. Negotiations with Guerrero also stalled, as Moreno added, "We've talked to his agent just recently. We talked to his agent two years ago. We could never get close enough. It's very emotional for us."[5]

After signing Abreu, LA Times reporter Mike DiGiovanna estimated that GM Tony Reagins had roughly $12 million to spend to keep payroll at the same level as the previous year. With about $12 million to work with, Reagins said."We do have money available to be active in free agency, and there are some areas we can work with that will give us more flexibility. We feel we can take on some payroll, but we're going to have to be creative."[2]

The Angels offered arbitration to both Lackey and Figgins on December 2, but not to 39-year-old Darren Oliver, who had just come off a surprisingly good season, enough to earn him Elias Sports Bureau ranking as a Type A Free Agent. This move assured the Angels of receiving first-round draft picks should Lackey or Figgins decided to sign elsewhere.[6]

On December 8, Figgins finalized a deal with division rival the Seattle Mariners. Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran said the Mariners "might have actually done the Angels a favor" by providing an opening for prospect Brandon Wood to assume third base and free up money to re-sign ace starter John Lackey.[7] The LA Times reported that the Angels' "reluctance to add a fourth year to their offer was a huge factor in the infielder's decision to sign with Seattle."[8] Because of Figgins' status as a Type A Free Agent, the Angels received a compensatory draft pick from the Mariners.

The Angels appeared to shift their primary focus on re-signing Lackey or trade for starting pitcher, with many rumors swirling around Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. While the Angels were considered a front-runner to sign power hitting left fielder Jason Bay, manager Mike Scoscia told the media he would prefer to make a long-term investment in pitching instead of his offense.[9]"I don't think you can ever have too much pitching", Scioscia said. "So if you are going to make a financial commitment, certainly the pitching end of it is something you're going to consider."[10] While Lackey's free agency lingered, the Angels were rumored to have offered Toronto left-handed starter Joe Saunders, shortstop Erick Aybar and outfield prospect Peter Bourjos in exchange for Toronto ace Roy Halladay. However, when Angels GM Tony Reagins was asked about the rumored trade, he had 'no reaction', adding, "It's not worth commenting on. A lot of things get thrown around and aren't accurate."[11] Yet, a few days later on December 14, 2009, sources indicated that Halladay would sign with the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade sending Cliff Lee to the Mariners, and that Lackey would sign with the Boston Red Sox.[12]

Later, Moreno told the LA Times that the decision not to bid higher for Figgins and Lackey wasn't based on money 'but on age and contract length, concerns about their long-term health and the availability of cheaper but attractive alternatives.'[13]

On the same day however, sources indicated that the Angels had signed Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui to a $6.5 million one-year contract.[12] Matsui would likely only hit as Designated Hitter because of his weak knees, filling the role for the former slugger Vladimir Guerrero, who both manager Scoscia and GM Reagins confirmed wouldn't come back after the signing of Matsui.[14]

The Angels bullpen also saw turnover. On December 12, the Angels announced the would not offer reliever José Arredondo a contract after learning he would undergo elbow reconstruction and be unavailable in the 2010 season.[15] Soon after, on December 22, veteran reliever Darren Oliver signed with division rival Texas Rangers.[16] The Angels signed closer Fernando Rodney as a possible setup man or as an alternative closer for the Brian Fuentes.[17][18]

Regular season

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Texas Rangers 90 72 .556 51–30 39–42
Oakland Athletics 81 81 .500 9 47–34 34–47
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 80 82 .494 10 43–38 37–44
Seattle Mariners 61 101 .377 29 35–46 26–55

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 9–9 4–3 3–3 5–5 2–4 6–0 3–5 5–13 3–7 3–6 7–11 6–4 3–15 7–11
Boston 9–9 1–6 4–4 3–3 4–3 9–1 3–2 9–9 4–5 7–3 7–11 4–6 12–6 13–5
Chicago 3–4 6–1 9–9 8–10 10–8 7–2 5–13 2–4 4–5 9–1 3–4 4–5 3–5 15–3
Cleveland 3–3 4–4 9–9 9–9 10–8 5–4 6–12 2–6 3–6 3–4 2–7 2–4 6–4 5–13
Detroit 5–5 3–3 10–8 9–9 10–8 6–4 9–9 4–4 3–3 3–5 1–6 3–6 4–4 11–7
Kansas City 4–2 3-4 9–10 8–10 8–10 3-7 5–13 3–5 3–6 5–4 4–4 2–7 3–3 8–10
Los Angeles 0–6 1–9 2–7 4–5 4–6 7–3 2–5 4–4 11–8 15–4 4–5 9–10 6–3 11–7
Minnesota 5–3 2–3 13–5 12–6 9–9 13–5 5–2 2–4 6–3 6-4 3–5 7–3 3–6 8–10
New York 13–5 9–9 4–2 6-2 4–4 5–3 4–4 4–2 9–1 6–4 8–10 4–4 8–10 11–7
Oakland 7–3 5–4 5–4 6–3 3–3 6–3 8–11 3–6 1–9 13–6 4–5 9–10 3–4 8–10
Seattle 6–3 3–7 1–9 4–3 5–3 4–5 4–15 4–6 4–6 6–13 2–7 7–12 2–3 9–9
Tampa Bay 11–7 11–7 4–3 7–2 6–1 4–4 5–4 5–3 10–8 5–4 7–2 4–2 10–8 7–11
Texas 4–6 6–4 5–4 4–2 6–3 7–2 10-9 3-7 4-4 10-9 12–7 2–4 3–7 14–4
Toronto 15–3 6–12 5–3 4–6 4–4 3–3 3–6 6–3 10–8 4–3 3–2 8–10 7–3 7–11
  • Source: MLB Standings Grid

Game log

2010 Game Log
Final Games Legend
Angels Win Angels Loss All-Star Game Game Postponed Eliminated
"GB" Legend
1st (AL West) Not in Playoff Position 1st (AL Wild Card) Tied for 1st (AL West)