The Los Angeles Angels continued their busy offseason by signing Brandon Drury to a two-year, $17 million contract after a breakout campaign in which he was named the Silver Slugger Award winner in the National League for the utility player position.
Drury hit .263/.320/.492 with 28 home runs, 87 RBI, 87 runs scored and a 123 wRC+ in 138 games between the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres this past season.
The utility man nearly signed a Minor League contract with the Angels last year, but he was advised by then-third base coach Phil Nevin to join the Reds instead, via Sam Blum and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Brandon Drury was driving from his home in Oregon to spring training in Arizona last March, not knowing whether he was going to sign a minor-league deal with the Angels or the Reds.
Phil Nevin, the Angels’ third-base coach at the time and Drury’s former manager at Triple-A, advised him to pick the Reds.
Nevin believed Drury would receive more opportunities with the Reds and thrive from hitting in Great American Ball Park:
Nevin wanted the best for Drury, a player he respected, according to people who know them well. He figured Drury would get more playing time with the Reds and benefit from hitting in Great American Ball Park.
The decision to join the Reds was clearly a beneficial one for Drury. And now with Nevin managing the Angels, Drury felt it was only right to join the team this offseason:
But from the presence of Nevin, whom one source called a “guiding force” for Drury, to the influence of Drury’s father, Shane, who coached his son and raised him to be an Angels fan, the fit seemed almost preordained.
Drury will presumably start at second base for the Angels next season, but has the versatility to play nearly any position needed.
Drury has spent time at all four infield positions and right field. The majority of his playing time has come between second and third base with more roughly 1,500 innings at each position.
Brandon Drury: Angels ‘on the cusp of being a great team’
Drury recently revealed he grew up an Angels fan and signed with them due to his belief that they are a team on the rise.
In addition to Drury, L.A. has signed All-Star starting pitcher Tyler Anderson and reliever Carlos Estévez, while acquiring slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela in trades.
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