Angels catcher Max Stassi will miss the entire season because of a family medical issue

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels catcher Max Stassi has announced he will miss the entire 2023 season because of a serious family medical issue.

The Angels placed Stassi on the restricted list Sunday after he informed them of his decision. Stassi left the team during spring training to deal with the family medical issue and to recover from a hip injury.

Stassi told the team he is capable of returning to baseball activities now, but he is choosing not to do so. Putting Stassi on the restricted list means he won't be paid the remainder of his $7 million salary for this season, a move that likely allows the Angels to get their payroll below the luxury tax threshold.

“Out of respect for Max and his family, the Angels will not have any further comment,” the team said in a statement. “The Angels wish Max and his family all the best.”

The Angels exceeded the luxury tax threshold with a flurry of moves near the trade deadline in an attempt to stay in playoff contention despite extended injury absences for Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Los Angeles flatlined immediately after the deadline, with 19 losses in 26 games and an elbow ligament tear for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who won't pitch again this season.

The Angels abruptly began dismantling their roster earlier this week, placing six veterans on waivers in an effort to avoid the luxury tax. Five of the veterans were claimed, allowing the Halos to get nearly out of tax territory by saving a combined $3,745,834 with the departures of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Dominic Leone, Hunter Renfroe and Matt Moore.

The 32-year-old Stassi joined the Angels during the 2019 season. He batted .209 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs during parts of four seasons with Los Angeles while providing solid defense.

Stassi is under contract for the 2024 season, scheduled to make $7 million.