By reaching an agreement with Kevin Jepsen yesterday the Los Angeles Angels officially have no players who will go to an arbitration hearing this year. This is always a goal for any team's front office and it's an accomplishment to be celebrated. The team and Jepsen agreed to a $1.181 million deal for one season.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the signing. He later reported that the contract meets right about in the middle of the numbers submitted to the arbitrator by the Angels and Jepsen. Jepsen was looking for $1.4 million and the Angels offered just under $1 million.
#Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen has avoided arbitration and agreed to contract for $1.181 million.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 29, 2013
Jepsen got a real chance last season when Dan Haren hit the disabled list. He had been up and down with the Angels over the previous four seasons. The team recalled Jepsen at the time of Haren's injury, and he proved himself as a worthy set-up candidate. He will not likely fill that role in 2013 now that the team has Ernesto Frieri and Ryan Madson on the roster, but he could help the Angels have one of the better bullpens in baseball.
Jepsen remained healthy last season which is always a plus. He appeared in 49 games and posted a career-best 3.02 ERA. Jepsen worked many of the set-up innings that Frieri will likely work this year, but he could still be a seventh inning guy and give the Angels the assurance that if they take a lead into the seventh, they all but have it wrapped up.