The Los Angeles Angels and general manager Perry Minasian have been aggressive in upgrading their roster this season with the hopes of returning to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The team has already signed All-Star pitcher Tyler Anderson and reliever Carlos Estévez, and they have traded for slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela. Despite their early activity in the offseason, Minasian felt there was still work to do.
In an effort to continue improving their offense, L.A. reportedly pursued All-Star catcher Willson Contreras before he ultimately signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
But now the Angels have reportedly added to their lineup by agreeing to terms with Brandon Drury on a two-year contract worth $17 million, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:
Utilityman Brandon Drury and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a two-year, $17 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Drury, 30, won the Silver Slugger at the utility position last year and is the third bat the Angels have acquired this winter.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 21, 2022
Drury is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .263/.320/.492 with 28 home runs, 87 RBI, 87 runs scored and a 123 wRC+ with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres. He was also named a Silver Slugger Award winner in the National League for the utility player position.
The 30-year-old has bounced around throughout his eight Major League seasons, debuting with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015, where he spent three seasons. He has also played for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.
The right-handed hitter is a career .252/.302/.434 batter with 79 home runs, 277 RBI, 248 runs scored and a 93 wRC+ in 645 games. The Angels are betting on his 2022 breakout continuing into future seasons as his previous career-high home run total was 16 during the 2016 season.
How does Brandon Drury fit with the Angels?
The Angels are deep in position players in both the infield and outfield, but thanks to Drury’s versatility, it should not be too much of a challenge to get him in the lineup.
During the 2022 season, Drury spent time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field, but the majority has come between second and third base with more roughly 1,500 innings at each position. He has also seen time in left field and even made an appearance on the mound during the 2021 season.
It would make sense for Drury to see the majority of his playing time at second base, but manager Phil Nevin may opt to start him at a different position every day to give everyone time off.
The Angels may also benefit from trading one of their infielders, with David Fletcher, Andrew Velazquez, Luis Rengifo and Michael Stefani among the most likely options to move.
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