The Los Angeles Angels have avoided arbitration with right-hander Kevin Jepsen, signing the reliever to a one-year, $1.181 contract, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times:
#Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen has avoided arbitration and agreed to contract for $1.181 million.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 29, 2013
The dollar amount in the deal is right about at the mid-point between the salary figures submitted by Jepsen and the Angels at the filing deadline two weeks ago. Jepsen filed at $1.4 million, Anaheim countered with $975k.
Jepsen, 28, had a bounce-back year for the Halos last season after an injury-plagued 2011 sapped his velocity and caused his earned-run average to soar. The right-hander posted a 3.02 ERA and 7.7 K/9 rate in 44⅔ innings in 2012 and also demonstrated unprecedented control, allowing a career-best 2.4 free passes per nine.
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The back-end of the Angels' bullpen is now stacked with the recent additions of Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett, but Jepsen should still get a fair share of late-inning work alongside Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri. While Downs has the advantage against lefties and Frieri is the go-to guy when looking for a strikeout, Jepsen's extreme ground ball tendencies should give him the leg up when in need of a double play.