The Los Angeles Angels signed outfielder Luis Barrera and re-signed infielder José Gomez to Minor League contracts for the upcoming season. The deals include an invite to Spring Training, giving both the opportunity to compete for depth roles.
Barrera, 27, was brought in after spending the 2021 season with the Oakland Athletics the prior two years. In 38 games, he posted a .235/.290/.329 slash in 93 plate appearances. He spent the majority of the season with the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators, batting .263/.329/.436, including eight home runs and 45 runs batted in.
The left-handed outfielder has a shot to make the team, or at the very least, hold a spot with the Angels Triple-A club considering their lack of MLB-ready outfield depth. The inability of Jo Adell to take a step forward has made him a potential liability in the field alongside his inconsistent bat.
Gomez, 26, split time this past season between Triple-A Salt Lake and Double-A with the Rocket City Trash Pandas. His production took a step forward with the Trash Pandas, batting .260 across 312 plate appearances.
The utility infielder hasn’t provided much with the bat and is best known for his versatility around the diamond. Most recently he posted a 64 wRC+ across both leagues in the Angels organization, which doesn’t bode too well for his outlook to stick around.
The Angels have made numerous Minor League deals to add depth to their organization recently, which included signing Jake Lamb to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training.
The team has also signed Fernando Romero and César Valdez to Minor League deals, along with Justin Garza to a split-contract.
Angels announce the signing of Brandon Drury
The Angels officially announced the signing of infielder Brandon Drury to a two-year, $17 million contract, giving him an average annual value of $8.5 million. In a corresponding 40-man roster move, right-handed pitcher Oliver Ortega was designated for assignment.
Drury is coming off a breakout season where 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 the Silver Slugger Award winner in the National League for the utility player position.
He will presumably start at second base for the Angels, but he has the versatility to play nearly any position needed as he spent time at all four infield positions and right field in 2022.
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