Dipoto believes Angels have built a foundation for success

Halos' GM says wholesale changes won't be needed this offseason

Dipoto believes Angels have built a foundation for success

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels' first-place season came to an abrupt end, with an American League Division Series sweep at the hands of a young, hungry Royals team that outperformed them in every facet of the game.

That three-game stretch, however, wasn't enough to make general manager Jerry Dipoto feel as though drastic changes are necessary this offseason.

"I can't say enough about how impressive I think the Royals were these last three days, but it doesn't change our group," Dipoto said. "We had a fantastic season, won 98 games. Our desire was to win a world championship, and obviously we fell short, but I still feel really confident in the foundation of the players that were here."

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

The Angels have been defined by the splashy offseason moves in recent years, signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in December 2011 and Josh Hamilton in December 2012. Last offseason, though, Dipoto made subtle moves to add to the Angels' nucleus, and this coming winter, it may be even quieter.

All nine everyday players are in the books, with catcher Chris Iannetta, second baseman Howie Kendrick and third baseman David Freese -- if tendered a contract -- heading into their final seasons before free agency.

They'll have five set starters in Jered Weaver, Wilson, Matt Shoemaker, Hector Santiago and Garrett Richards, who is expected to be fully recovered from knee surgery by Opening Day.

And the bullpen has only two free agents in Jason Grilli and Joe Thatcher. Huston Street's 2015 option will be picked up soon; Joe Smith, Kevin Jepsen, Fernando Salas, Mike Morin, Vinnie Pestano and Cory Rasmus, who could be converted to a starting pitcher, will also return.

"We'll continue to find more ways to create more depth on the pitching staff," Dipoto said. "The bench part of our team -- that ninth to 13th, even 15th player -- is going to be a focus of our offseason."

Even if he wanted to add major pieces, Dipoto would have very little wiggle room to do so. The Angels will have less than $10 million left under the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million, which has basically been the team's spending limit.

Hamilton will be in the third season of a five-year, $125 million deal. Pujols will be in the fourth season of a 10-year, $240 million deal. And there's a widely held belief from the outside that the Angels' championship window is closing quickly, and that this might have been their final chance to win it all with this nucleus.

Dipoto sees young players throughout the roster -- from Mike Trout to Kole Calhoun to Richards to Morin -- and scoffs at that.

"We're not a team that can't sustain and can't balance what we're doing," Dipoto said. "We like the group of players we have; we feel like we're a well-put-together team. Again, we fell short. Next year, with the full contingent, believing that we will have Garrett Richards back and in large part have a big part of the foundation of this team. We feel we're tweaks and turns from being a very good team again. There's no reason that will change."

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