There remains a lack of clarity as to how the Los Angeles Angels are going to approach the rest of the offseason. They could stand pat and try to win with what they have — which is a relatively strong roster if healthy — they could go add some big names still on the market or they could sell some of their more valuable veteran pieces.
While they make those decisions, they are not prohibited from adding smaller pieces to fill out some depth on their roster and in their organization. And that could be the impetus behind a move for utilityman Hunter Dozier. Dozier is entering his eighth MLB season and first away from the Kansas City Royals.
Dozier, a former first-round pick, spent 10 years in the Royals organization before he was released on May 27. He is now, reportedly, joining the Angels on a minor league contract with a chance for a big league roster spot, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 18, 2024
Dozier played in 29 games for the Royals in 2023, posting a .558 OPS over 91 plate appearances. In his last full campaign, 2022, Dozier had a .679 OPS in 128 games. Dozier has yet to rediscover what it is that gave him significant success at the plate in 2019. That year, he had an .870 OPS with 26 home runs, 84 RBI and an MLB-leading 10 triples. He has not posted an OPS above .750 in the four years since.
But Dozier’s value comes more as a versatile defender than at the plate. Last season, he spent at least 30 innings at three different positions: third base, first base and right field. He’s spent over 1,000 career innings at each of those positions for his career.
It’s a low risk move for the Angels who could certainly use some insurance policies at those three positions. Third base continues to be a platoon with frequent injuries to Anthony Rendon, while first base is manned by second-year pro player Nolan Schanuel. He’ll have a chance to fight for a roster spot in Spring Training.
Angels showing interest in Kiké Hernández
Kiké Hernández — a 10-year MLB veteran — is most known for his time with the L.A. Dodgers. He was with the cross-town rivals from 2015-2020, and then again in 2023, and played a significant role in the team’s World Series run in 2020. His value in today’s game is his versatility, as he can be placed at just about every position on the field.
It’s for these reasons that the Angels, reportedly, have looked into signing Hernández as they try and fill out the remainder of their 2024 roster:
One free agent they’re considering, according to sources briefed on their discussions: Kiké Hernández, who made 11 starts at third after getting traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers last season and has played every position but catcher during his 10-year career.