Iannetta hopes to stay with Angels

Iannetta hopes to stay with Angels

KANSAS CITY -- Chris Iannetta picked a bad time to have his worst year, at least from an offensive standpoint. In two and a half months, he'll be a free agent. And if the season ended right now, the veteran catcher would venture into the open market with a .610 OPS that is 161 points lower than his career mark heading into 2015.

Iannetta's hope is that the Angels haven't soured on him.

"I'd love to be here," he said. "I'd love to finish my career here, to be honest. I'd love to play as many years as I can. I still think I can play another four or five years as a starter, and then I'd love to transition into more of a backup role. That'd be awesome. I love playing for [Angels manager Mike Scioscia], I love playing for the organization. I think they have a great owner [Arte Moreno], a great front office, and I think they do a really good job. I'd be honored if we came to an agreement and I was able to stay."

Iannetta batted .093/.206/.111 in a rough month of April, then recovered with a .252/.365/.443 slash line over his next 44 games, numbers that were actually better than his previous career mark. The 32-year-old finally got his batting average over .200 on July 22, and then he started slipping again, managing only three hits over his next 40 at-bats.

On Saturday, Iannetta sat for the fourth consecutive game.

His slash line is now .182/.290/.320.

"Physically," Iannetta said, "I'm fine. I train really hard in the offseason, during the season. The length of the season isn't an issue."

His current slump is nothing close to what he went through in April.

"I'm just not getting hits," Iannetta said, "and I'm definitely not swinging at pitches that I normally swing at."

Soon, Iannetta will enter free agency amid a relatively deep crop of available catchers, a list that includes Alex Avila, John Jaso, Jeff Mathis, Dioner Navarro, A.J. Pierzynski and Matt Wieters.

He still has time to make an impression.

"I've come to terms with the fact that the overall aggregate numbers are not going to be where they normally are," Iannetta said. "Right now, it's all about contributing in the last month and a half. If you contribute the last month and a half, it doesn't matter."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.