Emerging outfielder gives team cost certainty, keeps strong presence in clubhouse
By Cash Kruth
The Angels inked a key contributor to a long-term deal and added cost certainty on Wednesday by signing outfielder Kole Calhoun to a three-year contract with a club option for 2020.
The deal covers Calhoun's three remaining arbitration years and what would have been his first year of free agency. Terms were not disclosed, but The Orange County Register reported the contract is worth $26 million over three years with a $14 million option for '20.
"I couldn't be more excited to continue being an Angel for at least three more years, and hopefully more after that," Calhoun said. "It's an organization that I've been raised in, I've grown in and the only organization I know."
General manager Billy Eppler said gaining salary certainty was important as the Angels look ahead to future teams and payrolls. The 29-year-old Calhoun hit .271 with 35 doubles and 18 home runs while scoring 91 runs in 2016, and he's also considered an asset in the clubhouse and within the organization.
"There's a population of guys in this game -- and Kole falls into that population -- that as you watch them play more and more, you start to pick up more of the details," Eppler said. "His defense, his baserunning -- coupled with what he does in the batter's box -- makes him that complete player and one we're comfortable in investing in."
Calhoun joins first baseman Albert Pujols, center fielder Mike Trout and shortstop Andrelton Simmons as Angels signed through at least 2019, and he points to that group as reason for long-term excitement.
"What we're doing right now and the guys we've brought in, we're excited to get into Spring Training and see what this season holds," Calhoun said. "But even looking down the road, there's pieces here and there's a great nucleus of young guys that I'm really excited about."
Calhoun produced another strong season in 2016 -- joining Garret Anderson as the only Angels right fielders to hit 35 doubles, five triples and 15 home runs in a single season -- despite playing in pain for much of the season. Calhoun had sports hernia surgery earlier this offseason and said he's on track to be ready for Spring Training.
"I'm not going to call it a complete 100 percent, but I'm pretty darn close," Calhoun said.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.