LA Angels free agent preview: Second Base
By Tyler Nelson
The Los Angeles Angels have a hole at second base, will they address the hole via free agency?
According to Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Angels are going to shop for a second baseman at the general managers meetings in Orlando, Fla.
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While a trade for a second baseman is very possible considering GM Billy Eppler’s past with recent trades, we’ll go the free agency route, since the free agency route is a little more predictable given the amount of free agents at each position.
Now, Eppler has a philosophy he follows when finding key free agents to fulfill the teams’ needs.
First, Eppler looks for defense and has high praise for it. A good example of this is when Eppler traded for arguably the best defensive shortstop in the league, Andrelton Simmons. Simmons is not the only example, Eppler also traded for catcher Martin Maldonado last offseason because of his pitch framing and defense behind the plate. Both Simmons and Maldonado won Gold Gloves this year.
Eppler also emphasizes players getting on base.
“Something I learned a long time ago: get that on base percentage up,” Eppler said. “don’t make so many outs,” he said in an interview with the Orange County Register.
The Angels on-base percentage (OBP) for 2017 was ranked 11th in the American League. They especially could look to improve upon second base which had an OBP of .274.
Also, it is worth to mention that the Angels have a lineup heavy with right-handed bats. Especially after signing outfielder Justin Upton. They could definitely use another left-handed bat in their batting lineup.
Seeing how Eppler emphasizes defense and OBP, and the need for a left-handed bat, these are factors to consider when Eppler makes his move for a free agent.