One of the more underrated signings this offseason was the acquisition of utilityman Brandon Drury on a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
His breakout season in 2022 made him a hot name during last year’s trade deadline, and the San Diego Padres were aggressive to acquire him with his .855 on-base plus slugging featuring 20 home runs before the trade.
The 30-year-old is entering his ninth season in Major League Baseball, and after agreeing to terms on a $30 million contract with the Angels, he will be playing for his seventh franchise and is reunited with one of his old managers, Phil Nevin.
This past year was the culmination of his hard work and dedication to MLB, and after growing up an Angels fan, he recalled his family’s fond memories of rooting for the team in the early 2000s, via Sam Blum & Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Drury and his family, who are from Oregon, went to Disneyland every year and made sure to attend as many Angels games as possible. These trips went from about 2000-2010, the golden era of Angels baseball. Drury became a die-hard Angels fan. The whole family is planning to go back to Disneyland next week for the holidays.
After securing a World Series title in 2002, the city of Anaheim and the Angels were on top of the baseball world. Landing with the Angels is a full-circle moment for the veteran, and a special marriage to witness, especially for Drury’s father, Shane:
“(It was) a dream team growing up,” Shane Drury said. “Knowing those players, watching those games. The rally monkey. Calling All Angels. It really stuck with him.
“He could probably tell you every player on the team throughout that whole era.”
Drury joins an Angels roster that was in dire need of veteran depth and a productive bat in the infield to go alongside Anthony Rendon. General manager Perry Minasian made him a priority and got the green light from owner Arte Moreno.
Overall in 2021, he slashed .263/.320/.492 with 28 home runs, 87 RBI, 87 runs scored, and a 123 wRC+ with the Cincinnati Reds and Padres. He was also named the Silver Slugger Award winner in the National League for the utility player position.
Brandon Drury believes Angels are ‘on the cusp’
The team was active early, signing All-Star starting pitcher Tyler Anderson and reliever Carlos Estévez while acquiring slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela in trades.
Shortly after signing with L.A., Drury noted that the team, and the moves this offseason, have put them in a great spot ahead of the 2023 regular season.
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