Garret Anderson and the Angels go back -- way back. He's been with the team for 15 seasons and is the franchise leader in, well, just about every important category there is, including games, runs, hits, RBI. He's been with the team through three name changes, debuting as a California Angel, winning a World Series as an Anaheim Angel and most recently playing as a Los Angeles Angel.
And now ... he's being cut loose. The Angels officially declined Anderson's option on Tuesday, deciding to buy out his final year for $3 million rather than giving him $12 million to play. From a strict, business sense, the move makes sense. Anderson is still productive (he hit .293-15-84 in 145 games) but at 36 years old, he's much closer to the league average (97 OPS+) than a superstar.
Before nostalgic Angels fans start sending hate mail to the front office, realize that Tuesday's announcement does not officially close the door: GM Tony Reagins admitted that the team may still try to sign Anderson to a smaller contract. But with guys like Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira (and who knows, maybe even CC Sabathia) hoping to break the bank, it makes sense to be frugal elsewhere when possible.
But in the meantime, the face of the franchise for the last decade and a half is on the outside looking in.