The Los Angeles Angels addressed a need in their outfield during the All-Star break by agreeing to terms on a Major League deal for the rest of this season with Adam Eaton. Eaton is a strong defensive outfielder that spent the first half of the season with the Chicago White Sox before being released due to struggles at the plate.
Given that the strength of the Angels is their offense, clearly the front office felt it was worth it to take on someone who is slumping offensively to help improve their defense, especially in the outfield. Eaton, a 10-year veteran, is one of the more reliable corner outfielders in the game today.
Prior to the Eaton signing, the Angels struggled to string together a consistent outfield, as Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Dexter Fowler were all injured. Although Trout and Upton should return shortly after the break, they’ll still have a hole in right field. In the last weeks before the break, their corner outfield spots were being filled by Taylor Ward, Luis Rengifo, Phil Gosselin, and Jose Rojas, three of whom are career infielders.
Eaton is slashing just .201/.298/.344 so far this season, hitting five home runs and collecting 28 RBI’s. Offensively, he’ll slot in towards the bottom of the batting order. This move was not meant to bolster their offense, which shouldn’t need any more help after Trout, Upton, and Anthony Rendon return from injury.
Despite offensive difficulties in 2020 and 2021, Eaton is not that far removed from being a productive contributor at the plate. In 2019, he slashed .279/.365/.428 for the Washington Nationals. If he can get some of that back, it would make this a slam dunk signing for the Angels.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Angels designated LHP Dillon Peters for assignment. To make room on the 26-man roster, the Angels optioned Rojas to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Angels add pitchers in draft
Given the current state of their organization at the Major and Minor League levels, the Angels knew they needed pitching in the 2021 Draft. They had a gameplan and stuck to it almost better than expected, drafting 20 pitchers in 20 rounds, making them the first team to ever do so.