Major League Baseball will not pass new rules this winter in response to the Los Angeles Angels' late-season salary dumps, according to ESPN. Rather, MLB wants to wait at least another season to see if the Angels' nihilistic approach was a one-off event or part of a new strategic shift.
Here's more, courtesy of ESPN's report:
The Angels had added aggressively in deals before the trade deadline, swapping for Lucas Giolito and others while trying to demonstrate to Shohei Ohtani that they were trying to win. But the Angels completely collapsed, losing their first seven games in August and 16 of 21 through Aug. 23, plummeting out of contention.
The Angels reacted to fading from the playoff race in August by placing several well-compensated veterans on waivers (including some they had acquired only weeks earlier, like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López) in an effort to get under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold. They succeeded, avoiding the tax line by an estimated $30,000, per ESPN's reporting. That means not only will they avoid paying a financial penalty, but their draft-pick compensation if and when they lose Shohei Ohtani to free agency will remain untouched.
It's worth noting that the most egregious of the Angels' cost-saving moves involved placing backup catcher Max Stassi on the restricted list in September. By doing so, the Angels avoided paying Stassi what remained of his salary. Stassi elected against resuming his playing career in favor of staying with his wife and son, who had been born three months prematurely earlier in the year.
How, precisely, MLB could curtail similar behavior is unclear. Executives with other teams who spoke to CBS Sports late in the season did not seem to believe it was likely to become a league-wide trend over the coming years.