MLB Free Agent Rumors: Angels Interested In Bringing Back Gio Urshela
Jun 1, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Gio Urshela (10) crosses home plate to score a run against the Houston Astros during the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2023 MLB season, the Los Angeles Angels traded away pitching prospect Alejandro Hidalgo to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for utility infielder Gio Urshela. The move was expected to be an insurance policy for the oft-injured Anthony Rendon with the hope that he could provide replacement-level production at the plate and in the field.

The results were not necessarily what Urshela or the Angels anticipated. Urshela slashed .299/.329/.374 with a .703 OPS and a 91 OPS+. Outside of his batting average, all of those numbers took a hit from his 2022 season in Minnesota. He also managed to play only 62 games, as a pelvic fracture suffered on June 15 ended his season, although it didn’t require surgery.

Urshela was about to cross his six years of MLB service time threshold, meaning the Angels knew this had the potential to be a one-year rental. Urshela’s market had been very quiet up to this point, but it’s now being reported that several teams — including the Angels — have interest in the infielder, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB:

According to Hoch, the Angels are one of the teams who has made a quality offer to Urshela alongside the Miami Marlins. Urshela fits within the Angels system for all the same reasons that he fit last season, which would explain the reported interest.

The Angels still need some injury insurance for Rendon, and for the most part, Urshela has been reliable outside of last year’s freak injury. He has played in at least 116 games in three of the last four full-length seasons.

Their approach last season of several replacement-level options in the infield was actually working relatively well until the injury bug struck. Urshela was a significant part of that plan and could see a bounce-back to the 119 OPS+ he recorded in 2022 after recovering from injury.

Angels acquire Guillermo Zuñiga from Cardinals

The Los Angeles Angels announced that they have acquired flame-throwing right-hander Guillermo Zuñiga from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for cash considerations.

He pitched two Major League innings in 2023 — his MLB debut — where he allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts. But while the production has not been that of an MLB-ready reliever, his tools are clearly a point of intrigue for an Angels team trying to revamp their relief crew.

Zuñiga averages 99.4 mph on his fastball and has had high strikeout rates throughout his minor league career. He could be a solid back of the bullpen relief option in a new-look team that features Carlos Estévez, Robert Stephenson, Matt Moore, Luis Garcia, Adam Cimber and Jose Cisnero. He is on the 40-man roster with the Angels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *