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Report: Angels targeting Smith, Mujica, Howell, Benoit for bullpen

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Sidearmer Joe Smith is on the Angels' radar.
Sidearmer Joe Smith is on the Angels' radar. (USATSI)

The Angels addressed their third base hole on Friday by acquiring David Freese from the Cardinals, but they still have to fix their bullpen for next season. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange Country Register reports the team is pursuing free agent relievers Joe Smith, Edward Mujica, J.P. Howell and Joaquin Benoit.

Smith, 29, had a 2.29 ERA in 63 innings for the Indians this past season. The 29-year-old Mujica had a 2.78 ERA with 37 saves in 64 2/3 innings for the Cardinals in 2013 while Howell, the only lefty of the group, put up a 2.03 ERA in 62 innings for the Dodgers. He will turn 31 shortly after opening day. Benoit, 36, saved 24 games with a 2.01 ERA in 67 innings with the Tigers.

Anaheim's bullpen ranked 26th with a 4.12 ERA and 25th with a 1.35 WHIP this year. The only holdovers heading into 2014 are closer Ernesto Frieri, lefty Sean Burnett and righty Dane De La Rosa. Righty Fernando Salas, acquired in the Freese trade, could grab another spot. The rest of the bullpen should be wide open though. Lots of places to improve.

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