Los Angeles Angels' Garrett Richards Avoids Arbitration, Expects To Be Ready For Opening Day

The Los Angeles Angels avoided arbitration with budding star pitcher Garrett Richards when the two sides completed a contract for 2015 on Saturday. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports that the contract is worth $3.2 million, but the Angels have not confirmed it as of late Saturday afternoon.

Can confirm the #Angels have avoided arbitration with Garrett Richards. $3.2M. @JonHeymanCBS had it first.

— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 31, 2015

Richards was in the midst of a spectacular 2014 season before succumbing to a ruptured tendon in his left knee. He last pitched in mid-August and had surgery to repair the patellar tendon on August 22. He missed the rest of the season and the postseason. For a while, it appeared that he may miss Spring Training and the beginning of the new season, but Gonzalez says, "Richards is currently on track to be ready by Opening Day, but the Angels will take it slow with him in Spring Training.​"

Before his injury, Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 4.2 WAR in 26 starts for the Angels. Last season was his fourth overall and second full season. He split time in 2013 between the bullpen and the rotation. Last year was his best by a wide margin as his previous-best ERA was 4.16 in 2013. His new contract represents a raise of over six times his 2013 salary of $520,000. The $3.2-million figure is just over the halfway point of what he and the Angels each offered 11 days before arbitration hearings begin.

According to Gonzalez, Richards has spent all of December and January working out in Arizona. He will start running at full speed in a few more days and throw off a mound soon after. He should report to Spring Training with the rest of the Angels' pitchers and catchers on Thursday, February 19.

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