Angels closer Huston Street re-signs for 2 years, $18M
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Huston Street had little desire to go back on the free-agent market this winter when he has already found a home with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels agreed to a contract with their closer on Wednesday that adds two additional seasons through 2017 and guarantees $18 million.
''This contract for me was so much more about feeling comfort here, but also believing and winning,'' Street said after the Angels got back to .500 with a 2-1 win over Colorado.
''I made it clear that I wanted to be Angel, and I didn't care if it hurt me in the negotiation,'' Street added. ''When you're negotiating a contract, you're always thinking about it. People can pretend they're not ... but when we got what we felt like was a very fair deal, it was undeniable in my heart.''
The 31-year-old Street has been outstanding in the Angels' bullpen since joining the club from San Diego last July 18. He earned 17 saves last season down the stretch with Los Angeles, and he has 11 saves already this season with a 3.07 ERA.
Earning $7 million this season, Street will get a $4 million signing bonus, with half payable by Nov. 15, 2016, and the rest by Nov. 15, 2017. He gets salaries of $6 million in 2016 and $7 million in 2017.
Los Angeles has a $10 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. The deal includes a limited no-trade provision.
Street has always been vocal about his desire to stay with the Angels, hoping to get stability for his family in the second half of his career. He hashed out a deal over the past few months with general manager Jerry Dipoto.
''Free agency was something that's exciting,'' Street said. ''But my fear was that if I didn't get a deal done here, you go into free agency and you're just searching for money. Some people get in situations in free agency where they just have to take the money. I wanted to be here the entire time. Free agency was not something that I really wanted to do, and the process was pretty smooth.''
Street has been one of baseball's elite closers since 2005, when he was the AL Rookie of the Year for Oakland. He had at least 16 saves in each of his first 10 major league seasons, also playing in Colorado and San Diego before joining the Angels for the playoff push last summer in a six-player trade.
''I think as a manager, your I.Q. is tied to your bullpen, and a guy like Huston has a history of making his manager look smart,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''So we're excited. He's a guy you can build around for a couple of years. A guy with his track record, I think you can project what he can do for us in the next couple of years, and it's great to have him.''
Street immediately stabilized Los Angeles' rocky bullpen last season, playing a major role in the Angels' run to the majors' best record with 98 victories. He didn't appear to allow contract talks to affect his performance this season, going 2-1 and converting 11 of 13 save opportunities.
''I feel like I'm very lucky that I get to be with an organization that I want to be with, with a group of guys that can win and can do it often,'' Street said. ''And for myself, I get to close. That's what I want to do. I want to close.''
Street has the highest save conversion rate in the majors over the past five seasons, succeeding in 137 of 149 opportunities. He has 286 career saves in 332 chances and a 2.83 ERA.
He is one of four relievers with at least 200 saves and 600 strikeouts in the past decade, joining Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon and former Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez.