Angels add first base depth in surprising roster move

Sep 10, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Alfonso Rivas (6) blows a
Sep 10, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Alfonso Rivas (6) blows a / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have been relatively quiet this offseason, as most attention surrounding them has been in regards to Shohei Ohtani who already left. The Angels have signed a trio of relievers to one-year contracts, but have done little else.

What they have done that doesn't generate much attention is add a bunch of depth. Why those moves get little attention is because they're minor league deals that rarely turn into anything of note. This latest Angels roster move is a bit different, however, as they've added a player onto their 40-man roster by claiming first baseman Alfonso Rivas off of waivers.

LA Angels make rather unnecessary waiver claim, picking up first baseman Alfonso Rivas from the Guardians

While it's been a quiet offseason for most teams not named the Dodgers, it's been an active offseason for Alfonso Rivas who is joining his third team already this winter. He was on the Pirates before being claimed off of waivers by the Guardians. A little over a month later the Guardians waived Rivas, and the Angels claimed him.

The reason Rivas has been an interesting player to some teams is because of his ability to get on base. He has a .404 career OPS in five minor league seasons, thanks in large part to a strong eye. He's gotten on base at a decent clip in his MLB opportunities posting a .324 OPS in 459 plate appearances, but his career .673 OPS is not good enough, especially for a first baseman.

Rivas has seen playing time for three MLB teams in the last three years. He saw 48 games of action this past season for the Padres and Pirates following his 101-game year in 2022 with the Cubs. Rivas hasn't done much at all with his opportunities, but his minor league numbers continue to give him chances.

The 27-year-old is nothing more than a depth addition for the Angels and it'd be a surprise if he lasts the entire offseason on the 40-man roster. The Angels have Nolan Schanuel penciled in as the team's starter at first base and have several backup plans they'd likely consider before landing on Rivas. Brandon Drury is an obvious one, and the Halos could even consider giving players like Matt Thaiss and Anthony Rendon a look over at first base.

In the minors, the Angels have Trey Cabbage who like Rivas, has excelled in the minors, particularly this past season, but struggled when getting his chance in the majors. You can never have enough depth, but the surprising part about this move is the fact that Rivas is now on the 40-man roster. With the Angels having a complete 40-man roster now, it wouldn't be surprising to see him be the first one DFA'd whe they make their next roster move.