Los Angeles Angels sign veteran Cliff Pennington to two-year deal

By Tameem Seraj

The Los Angeles Angels added some depth by signing free agent utility man Cliff Pennington Tuesday.

The eight-year veteran put pen to paper on a two-year deal worth $3.75 million. He will receive $1.5 million in 2016 and the final $2.25 million in 2017.

New General Manager Billy Eppler has made two moves in less than a week now, with the trade for Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons being the other. It looks like Eppler is taking the more active role by shaking up and bolstering the roster. If he keeps this up, he will have a busy winter of offseason moves.

Pennington is able to play second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field. If that versatility wasn’t enough, he even pitched in the American League Championship Series for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Pennington started last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to Toronto on August 8. Prior to his time in Arizona, Pennington spent five seasons as an Oakland Athletic from 2008-2012.

The 31-year-old batted .210 last year with three home runs, 21 runs batted in, six doubles and 24 runs scored in 105 games. For his career, he is a .245 batter with 30 homers, 211 runs batted in and 80 stolen bases.

The signing of Pennington not only provides a solid defensive replacement at many positions, it will allow infielder Taylor Featherston to further develop in the minors. Featherston never got to play above Double-A due to him being a former Rule 5 pick, which stipulates that the big league club had to keep him on the roster or risk losing him to Colorado on a waiver claim.

Pennington likely won’t light it up with his offensive numbers in 2016, but I’m sure Head Coach Mike Scioscia will call on him to come in late during games to make big plays with his glove.

But more importantly, it give Featherston a chance to get better in the minors after looking overmatched for most of the season by major league pitching. Featherston batted a measly .162 through 154 at-bats in 2015.

Don’t worry Taylor, go do your thing at Triple-A and become the best you possible. Cliff will manage the backup duties in the meantime.

Welcome to the Angels Cliff Pennington!