The Los Angeles Angels have re-signed 26-year old switch-hitting infielder Rey Navarro to a minor league deal. Navarro played in 47 games in Rookie+AAA-ball for the Angels last year and he was 45 of 182 (.247 avg, .611 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 1 homer, 14 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Navarro has already played in 1,019 games in his first 10 years in the minors and he is 1,008 of 3,824 (.264 avg, .683 OPS) with 477 runs scored, 53 homers, 398 RBI and 80 stolen bases. Navarro’s lone experience in the show came back in 2015 for the Baltimore Orioles. He played in 10 games for the Orioles in 2015 and he was 8 for 29 (.276 avg, .724 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBI. Navarro will get a shot to make the Angels’ big league squad as a backup next spring.
The Los Angeles Angels have claimed 25-year old lefty swinging infielder Nolan Fontana off waivers from the Astros. Fontana played in 116 games in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 80 for 395 (.203 avg, .555 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 3 homers, 31 RBI and 5 stolen bases. Fontana has now played in 452 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 361 of 1,522 (.237 avg, .726 OPS) with 253 runs scored, 17 homers, 182 RBI and 44 stolen bases. This looks like a minor league depth signing and little more as Fontana hasn’t hit a lick in the minors so far in his career.
The Los Angeles Angels have designated 27-year old righty swinging catcher Juan Graterol for assignment. Graterol played in 9 games in his first taste of the show for the Angels in 2016 and he was 4 for 14 (.286 avg, .714 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 3 RBI. Graterol also played in 68 games in AAA-ball for the Angels last year and he was 68 of 227 (.300 avg, .710 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 2 homers, 23 RBI and 2 stolen bases. The Angels shouldn’t miss Graterol too much in 2017.
The Los Angeles Angels have signed 24-year old righty reliever/starter Osmer Morales to a minor league deal. Morales pitched in 32 games (14 starts) in two levels of A-ball for the Mariners last year and he was 5-6 with 4 saves, a 3.32 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He gave up 111 hits and 27 walks while whiffing 134 batters in his 116 2/3 innings in the minors last year. He has now pitched in 115 games (30 starts) in his first 7 years in the minors and he is 16-17 with 10 saves, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. This is a good guy to take a flier on, as Morales has pitched well in the minors so far in his career.
The Los Angeles Angels have signed 24-year old righty swinging outfielder Luis Tejada to a minor league deal. Tejada played in 125 games in A+AA-ball last year for the Padres and he was 105 of 414 (.254 avg, .752 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 11 homers, 63 RBI and 8 stolen bases. Tejada has now played in 544 games in his first 7 years in the minors and he is 482 of 1,889 (.255 avg, .691 OPS) with 261 runs scored, 28 homers, 243 RBI and 65 stolen bases. Tejada will likely start the 2017 in AA or AAA-ball for the Angels.
The Los Angeles Angels sign 24-year old righty starting pitcher Luis Diaz to a minor league deal. Diaz pitched in 16 games (13 starts) in Rookie+A+AA-ball for the Padres last year and he was 2-6 with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.43 ERA. Diaz has now pitched in 148 games (127 starts) in his first 8 years in the minors and he is 32-43 with 2 saves, a 4.04 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Diaz will be a big time longshot to win a spot on the Angels’ pitching staff next spring.
The Los Angeles Angels have designated 26-year old righty reliever Jose Valdez for assignment. Valdez pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-3 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Valdez has now pitched in 32 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the show and he is 2-4 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. The Angels should be O.K. moving forward without Valdez.
UPDATE: (11/25/2016) – The Angels have outrighted Jose Valdez to AAA.
25-year old lefty swinging outfielder Rafael Ortega has rejected an outright assignment to AAA from the Los Angeles Angels, so he will become a free agent this winter. Ortega played in 66 games for the Angels last year and he was 43 of 185 (.232 avg, .575 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 1 homer, 16 RBI and 8 stolen bases. Ortega has now played in 68 games in his first two years in the show and he is 45 of 189 (.238 avg, .590 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 1 homer, 16 RBI and 9 stolen bases. The Angels should be O.K. moving forward without Ortega.
The Los Angeles Angels have signed 24-year old lefty swinging outfielder Ramon Flores to a minor league deal. Flores played in 104 games for the Brewers last year and he was 51 of 249 (.205 avg, .555 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 2 homers, 19 RBI and 3 stolen bases. He has now played in 116 games in his first two years in the show and he is 58 of 281 (.206 avg, .546 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 2 homers, 19 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. This was a depth signing and little more for the Angels.
25-year old righty swinging outfielder Mike Trout has won a Silver Slugger Award in 2016 for the fifth consecutive season! Trout played in 159 game for the Los Angeles Angels in 2016 and he was 173 of 549 (.315 avg, .991 OPS) with a Major League leading 123 runs scored, 29 homers, 100 RBI and 30 stolen bases. He also led the Major Leagues in both OBP (.441) and walks (116) in 2016! Trout has now played in 811 games in his first six years for the Angels and he is 917 of 2,997 (.306 avg, .963 OPS) with 600 runs scored, 168 homers, 497 RBI and 143 stolen bases. Trout just keeps getting better every year, which should be scary for the rest of the teams in the American League.
UPDATE: (11/22/2016) – Mike Trout has been named the 2016 MVP of the American League for the second time (2014 was the other) in his career.