The Los Angeles Angels had provided hints over the first few days of Spring Training that they were not done making additions to their roster. And while it’s not the superstar splash that many fans were clamoring for, the Angels reportedly made an impactful addition in their bullpen on Thursday.
The Angels bullpen was one of the team’s biggest weaknesses in 2021. Outside of closer Raisel Iglesias, the Halos had very few reliable arms they could turn to in the middle innings. Now, in 2022, the bullpen is beginning to look like a strength.
Thursday’s addition saw veteran right-handed reliever Archie Bradley reportedly agree to terms on a one-year, $3.75 million contract with the Angels, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Free-agent reliever Archie Bradley has agreed to a one-year, $3.75M contract with the Angels, source tells @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 17, 2022
Bradley, 29, is entering his eighth MLB season and will be playing for his fourth team in the last three years. The righty spent over five seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2020. He then signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent last offseason.
In 2021 with the Phillies, Bradley was a steady and reliable option out of the bullpen. In 51.0 innings over 53 appearances, Bradley amassed a 3.71 ERA, a 1.431 WHIP, 40 strikeouts, and 22 walks.
Last season, Bradley could best be described as a pitch-to-contact type. His 7.1 K-per-nine, 14th percentile strikeout rate and measly second percentile whiff rate numbers show that swing-and-miss is not his forte.
He also had some trouble with walks, allowing 3.9 free bases per nine innings and a 29th percentile walk rate. But his average exit velocity ranked in the 84th percentile, which could be attributed to an increased usage of his sinker as opposed to a four-seam fastball.
For the Angels, Bradley slots in as yet another steady option in what has become a relatively strong bullpen. Iglesias, Aaron Loup, and Bradley could be one of the best relief trios in baseball. Meanwhile, Mike Mayers, Austin Warren, and Jose Quijada have proven themselves to be reliable.
The last two spots figure to be filled by Jimmy Herget, Packy Naughton, or eventually Michael Lorenzen if he is taken out of the starting rotation.
Angels sign Matt Duffy
The Angels also made a depth addition to their infield this week, signing utilityman Matt Duffy to a one-year deal. While Duffy is primarily a third baseman, he had a strong showing at second base in 2021. He’ll have the opportunity to compete for a full-time role with the Angels during Spring Training.