The second place Anaheim Angels finished 10 games behind the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West. And by the sound of it, if they are going to make up ground in 2012, it will most likely have to be through internal improvements, rather than through signing big name free agents or trading for expensive veterans.
Arte Moreno has reportedly said that the Angels' payroll for 2012 is expected to be in the $130-140 million range. That's not an insignificant amount, but it is slightly lower than 2011's $132 million payroll.
According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, the Angels already have $102,317,000 in obligations for 2012, which accounts just for Vernon Wells, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Ervin Santana, Scott Downs, Hisinori Takahashi, Maicer Izturis, and the buyout Scott Kazmir is owed for 2012. Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick are both in their final seasons of arbitration eligibility, and the two of them will get the payroll to about $115 million.
That leaves $25 million for the remaining fourteen spots on the 25 man roster, plus your various guys on the d.l., etc. Which means that, unless they can figure out a way to dump some money (Abreu and the two lefty relievers would be the contracts they probably would most like to shed), Anaheim isn't going to be in a position to go outside the organization for upgrades that cost significant money.
And for those wondering, I anticipate doing a post looking at the Rangers' payroll situation and contract obligations for 2012 early next week.