The Los Angeles Angels made a move in acquiring veteran infielder Gio Urshela from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a minor leaguer, making this the second impactful deal of an already busy offseason for general manager Perry Minasian.
Urshela spent the breakout part of his career with the New York Yankees but spent 2022 with the Twins. In the past four seasons, he’s compiled a 118 wRC+, with a .290 batting average in 435 games while displaying a fair amount of position versatility.
Minasian noted that the Angels were going to be in on several options that could provide depth to their infield, but with third base locked up with Anthony Rendon, that leaves them three slots when some extra guys would pay incredible dividends.
The drop-off from a major league starter to the next option was night & day for the Angels last season, and it ultimately cost them any chance of withstanding injury woes. The trade for Urshela might appear as minor, but he fills a great need for their lineup and Minasian expressed his optimism with the move, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“You’ve heard me say this a lot this offseason, but it’s about depth and protecting ourselves in a lot of different spots,” Minasian said. “He’s a really good player. He can do a lot of different things. Obviously, his natural position is third base, but we feel like he can play first. He can stand in at second and can even fill in at short. So just the ability to add a player of this caliber to our group of infielders we currently have, we thought it was the right move.”
The 31-year-old spent the majority of his time at third base last season but has played each slot in the infield. Although he is an offense-first player, position familiarity will be welcomed for an Angels roster that had to dip pretty far into their minor league ranks to seek out some reinforcements for crippling injury woes.
Perry Minasian focused on raising Angels roster ‘floor’
With a three-year deal for starting pitcher Tyler Anderson and a deal for Urshela, the Los Angeles Angels have made their first step towards building a more well-rounded roster, which is a focus of Minasian.
The Angels saw their young core of starting pitchers aside from Shohei Ohtani rise to the occasion in a number of spots this past season, as Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, and José Suarez contributed to their 3.67 team ERA. Minasian took a bonafide strength of his roster and improved it even more.
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