Angels transfer catcher Max Stassi to restricted list, cutting more payroll – Press Enterprise



OAKLAND — Max Stassi has missed the entire season on the injured list, but his absence no longer has anything to do with baseball.

The Angels placed the catcher on the restricted list, effective Saturday, because Stassi “informed the Angels that while he is in position to resume activities to return to MLB, he has voluntarily chosen not to do so for the remainder of the 2023 season as a result of a serious family medical issue,” according to an Angels statement.

The impact of the move is that the Angels will not be responsible for the rest of Stassi’s $7 million salary in 2023, which might help them get under the luxury-tax threshold.

The payroll, for purposes of the luxury tax, is calculated using the average annual values of the contracts. The AAV of Stassi’s three-year, $17.5-million contract was $5.8 million. That is reduced to about $5.5 million by eliminating the final $1 million he was to be paid this year.

It is not known if that alone will be enough to get the Angels under the $233 million threshold for the luxury tax. Last week, the Angels placed six players on waivers in an effort to clear some salary toward the end of this disappointing season. Only five were claimed, leaving them slightly above the luxury tax threshold.

There is still a month left in the season, and each transaction has the potential to slightly alter the payroll.The final calculation will be done by MLB in December.

If the Angels finish above the threshold, they would pay a 20% tax on the overage. Obviously that would be an insignificant amount of money relative to the entire payroll, but it would mean that they’d be subject to a 30% tax if they go over in 2024.

Also, if the Angels exceed the luxury tax, the compensation pick they would receive if they lose Shohei Ohtani would be after the fourth round instead of after the second round.

Stassi, 32, was in position to be one of the Angels catchers, but just before Opening Day he suffered a hip injury. Around the same time, he began dealing with a family medical emergency that has persisted through the entire season.

The Angels opted to keep him on the injured list – instead of the restricted list – throughout the first five months of the season because Stassi was still receiving treatment. It also allowed him to continue to be paid.

Stassi remains under contract for $7 million in 2024, with a $7.5 million option or a $500,000 buyout for 2025.

“Our thoughts are with him and his family,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “It’s a tough time for him. A lot of guys have reached out, called, kept in contact throughout the season. I have as well. A lot of our thoughts are with Max and and his family.”

VELAZQUEZ OPTIONED

The Angels sent down shortstop Andrew Velazquez a day after he was caught stealing third with no outs in the Angels’ 2-1 loss to the Oakland A’s.

Although Nevin said the move wasn’t entirely because of that mistake, he acknowledged that Velazquez needs to do a better job with fundamentals. His first-inning error in a game last month in Texas prompted Nevin’s dugout tirade about “focus.”

“When you’re in the role you are, that Squid has been in, coming in late in games, those mistakes becoming glaring,” Nevin said, referring to the baserunning mistake. “They need to be discussed. Quite frankly, they just can’t happen.”

The Angels replaced Velazquez with Matt Thaiss, who was activated from the injured list. Thaiss was out with shoulder inflammation. He’s not ready to throw well enough to go behind the plate, but he can hit. The Angels still have Logan O’Hoppe and Chad Wallach as their two catchers.

NOTES

Right-hander Chase Silseth (concussion) is not going to be ready to start this week against the Baltimore Orioles, as the Angels had hoped. “Still evaluating,” Nevin said. “Still having certain things we need to get past, but he’s getting close.” Left-handers Kenny Rosenberg, Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers will start the three games against Baltimore. …

Shortstop Zach Neto (lower back inflammation) will work out with the Angels on Monday in Anaheim. Iif that goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment Tuesday, Nevin said.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Kenny Rosenberg, 0-0, 6.43) vs. Orioles (RHP Grayson Rodriguez, 4-3, 5.03), 6:38 p.m. Monday, Angel Stadium, Bally Sports West, 830 AM



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