Ramos is heading into his final season before free agency and is projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to make $1.7 million in 2016. The 31-year-old lefty was acquired from the Rays for pitching prospect Mark Sappington last offseason, and he turned in a solid season, posting a 2.75 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 2.87 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 65 appearances.
But Ramos was low in Mike Scioscia's bullpen pecking order, used largely in mopup duty. Starter-turned-reliever Jose Alvarez became Scioscia's main matchup lefty down the stretch, even though he, like Ramos, is better-suited for multiple innings.
Cowgill, 29, has been a key fourth outfielder for the Angels the past 2 1/2 years, serving as a late-game defender, pinch-runner and occasional starter against left-handed pitching. The scrappy right-handed hitter is controllable for three more years and projects to make only $1 million in arbitration this winter, so it would be very easy to keep him on the roster.
If the Angels decide to non-tender Cowgill, it would be with aspirations of continuing to upgrade their bench. Cowgill -- an outstanding defender but an underwhelming hitter -- sports a career .236/.299/.334 slash line and was limited to 55 games in 2015 because of a sprained right wrist.
The Angels are roughly $20 million below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, which has basically acted as their spending limit the last handful of years.