Angels Finalize Deals With Seven Minor League Free Agents

By Jason Evans

The Angels may not yet have dipped their toe into the major league free agent market, however, they are loading up on organizational depth. Remember, whatever your opening day 25 man roster is, you wont finish with the same 25 guys. Yesterday, the Angels finalized agreements with seven minor league free agents, including finalizing Mitch Stetter‘s contract.

September 28, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros outfielder

J.B. Shuck

(8) gets a hit in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

On the pitching side, the Angels signed Jo-Jo Reyes and Billy Buckner. Reyes was last in the majors in 2011 with the Blue Jays and Orioles going 7-11 with a 5.57 ERA. He was in the Pirates minor league system last year, going 6-2 with a 2.51 ERA at three different levels of minor league ball. Buckner last appeared in the major leagues with the Diamondbacks back in 2010 and hasn’t won a game in the majors since 2009. He was in AAA for the Red Sox last season, going 8-6 with a 3.91 ERA.On the infield, they added catcher Luke Carlin and utility infielder Brendan Harris. Carlin played in four games in the majors for the Cleveland Indians last year and spent most of his time in AAA for them hitting .252. Harris is probably most known for being in the Delmon Young/ Matt Garza trade before the 2008 season. He hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2010 when he was with the Twins. He hit .317 in AAA last year for the Colorado Rockies. If he has a good enough spring, he could win the utility infielder job next season.

In the outfield, they added two guys who could be fifth outfielders next year in Trent Oeltjen and J.B. Shuck. Oeltjen last appeared in the majors with the Dodgers in 2011 hitting .197 in 91 plate appearances. In the minors for the Dodgers last year, he .295 with 13 home runs. Shuck is only 25 years old and .272 in 92 plate appearances for the Houston Astros in 2011. He hit .298 in AAA in the Astros system last season.

All of these guys will have a chance to compete for spots on the roster next year, or be there in AAA to give the team some more depth. Look for the Angels to make similar moves as the off-season moves forward.