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Angels Lock Up Talented Utility Man Izturis

The Angels and Maicer Izturis came to an agreement today on a three-year contract reportedly for $10 million. If true, it buys out Maicer’s final year of arbitration and two years of free agency.

Maicer had asked for $3 million for his arbitration hearing and the team countered with $2.3 million. The 29-year-old was worth nearly three wins for the Angels last year and provided a lot of defensive flexibility, being able to man 2B, SS and 3B at an above average level. No matter the result of arbitration, Maicer was going to be a steal for the Angels, that they were able to rope in two more years at an insanely discounted rate is even more in their favor.

Given a full season’s worth of playing time, Maicer has been playing at about a three win level for the prior four seasons. Even in my most pessimistic scenario for Maicer Izturis, his market value for these three seasons is nearly $20 million. If you remove this arbitration year from the calculation – since we know the figures that were filed for and Izturis filed for way too little per his actual value – the Angels are still getting two free agency years at roughly a one win per season valuation.

Izturis even typically adds a few extra runs to the bottom line on the base paths. There is no other reasonable conclusion here: the Angels struck themselves a fantastic deal. The only question is whether he’ll continue to be used as a roving infielder behind Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood, a situation that should still allow him to get 400 to 500 plate appearances, or be given an opportunity to win one of those left-side positions.