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Tracking Billy: Angels off-season additions

Updates on the new additions to the 40 man roster

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Eppler has his work cut out for him as he tries to make the Angels MORE competitive than they were last year. Wait, I mean competitive in general. Let’s hope for at least the first .500 season in the past 4 years? It’s a low bar, but it’s been a rough ride since 2016 and the Angels certainly aren’t going to get good enough in one season to catch the juggernaut Astros. Transactions listed below are just in relation to the 40 man roster, so minor league contracts are not included.

We’ll keep this updated as the off season progresses.

Off Season Move Tracker (Additions)

Oct 26, Kevan Smith (C) Acquired Off Waivers From Chi. White Sox (est. $550K)
In 2018 he hit .292 with a .348 OBP over 52 games. In 3 seasons, he’s yet to top 300 plate appearances. Smith is not great at controlling the running game and is around average in pitch framing.

Nov 2, Austin Brice (RP) Acquired Off Waivers From Cincinnati (est. $550K)
Over 84 big league innings in 3 years, Brice has a 5.68 ERA and 25 walks to 72 Ks. The Angels clearly saw something in his arm that they liked.

Nov 21, Dillon Peters (SP) Traded From Miami (for RHP Tyler Stevens) (est. $550K)
The 26 year old lefty could work his way into some spot starts or a long bullpen role. In two seasons he has a 6.10 ERA over 59 innings. His control issues are even a bit more pronounced than Brice with 34 walks.

Nov 29, Tommy La Stella (2B) Traded From Chi. Cubs (for LHP Conor Lilis-White) (est. $1.2MM)
La Stella is under team control through 2020. He’s a capable left-handed hitting utility guy with a .340 OBP in 2018 and a .345 career OBP.

Dec 6, Luis Garcia (RP) Traded From Philadelphia (for LHP Jose Alvarez) (est. $1.7MM)
Eppler traded the Angels best bullpen piece from 2018 for a guy that a 6.07 ERA and 1.457 WHIP in 2018. File this under: Hope his analytic teams knows something we don’t.

Dec 15, Justin Bour (1B) Signed as Free Agent ( 2019) (one-year contract $2.5MM)
Bour was picked up to fill the space at DH and 1B when Pujols and/or Ohtani are not available. He’s not a great defensive first baseman, but he has been a pretty good hitter in the past.

Dec 21, Matt Harvey (SP) Signed as Free Agent ( 2019) (one-year contract $11MM + $3MM incentives)
Much has already been written about Harvey on this site. The Angels are certainly hoping he’s trending upwards since he has a long ways to go from his 2015 performance.

Dec 20, Trevor Cahill (SP) Signed as Free Agent ( 2019)(one-year contract $9MM + $1.5MM incentives)
Cahill was a pretty decent pickup for the Halos. Certainly no blockbuster and there are some questions with him, but 9 million is not too steep a price for taking a chance.

Dec 21, Parker Bridwell (SP) Acquired Off Waivers From NY Yankees
Bridwell was a victim (along with Jose Fernandez) of the Rule 5 Draft when he was DFA’d for the Angels to make room for Jose Suarez, Luis Rengifo, and Luis Madero. The Angels clearly were not done with him since they scooped him back up after the Yankees DFA’d him to make room for J.A. Happ.

Dec 28, Jonathan Lucroy (C) Signed as Free Agent (one-year contract 3.35MM)
Certainly no Ramos or Grandal, Lucroy had a 70 wRC+ and .241/.291/.325 slash line last year. He is not a great defensive catcher and his 30% caught stealing rate last year was a few ticks about his career mark of 28%.

Jan 16, John Curtiss (RP) Traded from Twins for Daniel Ozoria
Eppler picked up another cheap bullpen arm with upside that has velocity but has struggled at the big league level.

Jan 17, Cody Allen (RP) Signed as Free Agent (one-year contract $8.5MM with $2MM in incentives based on games finished)
Eppler finally spent some money on a bullpen arm and it’s a closer. Allen wanted to close somewhere and he’ll get that chance with the Angels. Hopefully Allen is much better than his 4.70 and 0 WAR self from 2018.