Angels sign underwhelming Anthony Rendon insurance in latest move

The Angels have signed Hunter Dozier to a minor league deal.
Kansas City Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier (17) hits a sacrifice fly during the third inning of
Kansas City Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier (17) hits a sacrifice fly during the third inning of / MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

It's been an offseason that can be described as nothing more than underwhelming for the Los Angeles Angels, and their latest signing only adds to that. The Halos have officially signed Hunter Dozier to a minor league deal according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training.

There was a point in time when Hunter Dozier was an exciting name. He was drafted eighth overall by the Royals in the 2013 MLB Draft and has even had some notable seasons in the major leagues. He was at his best in 2019, slashing .279/.348/.522 with 26 home runs and 84 RBI in 139 games as Kansas City's regular third baseman. He even led the American League with ten triples that season.

While that season was extremely promising, his career has taken a big turn in the wrong direction ever since. He had chances to play regularly for the Royals from 2020-2022 but had just an 89 OPS+ combined in those years. After 29 rough games this past season with Kansas City, Dozier was DFA'd and subsequently released. Now, the 32-year-old is getting a fresh start with the Angels.

Hunter Dozier is nothing more than underwhelming Anthony Rendon insurance for the Angels

With how underwhelming this offseason has been for the Angels, Dozier is arguably the best position player the Angels have signed. Not what you want to hear over a month after Shohei Ohtani joined the crosstown rivals, but that's the reality of this situation.

Right now, Anthony Rendon is penciled into the Angels starting lineup as their everyday third baseman. As bad as the Rendon tenure has gone, they really have no choice but to start him until the inevitable injury occurs. Last season the Angels were well-equipped for a Rendon injury with Gio Urshela serving as their safety net, but Gio is a free agent, and the Angels have shown no public interest in re-signing him.

As of now, the Angels would likely be relying on Michael Stefanic to step in if Rendon gets hurt. While Stefanic has swung a great bat in the minors, it hasn't quite translated to the majors in his limited reps with the Angels. If the Angels don't sign a legitimate backup third baseman, Dozier will theoretically have a very real shot at being the Anthony Rendon insurance we know we'll see.

As a minor league signing, this isn't a bad one. There really is no such thing as a bad MiLB signing. Dozier has had success in the past, even if it was back in 2019, and offers a ton of positional flexibility. In addition to playing both corner infield positions, the 32-year-old has seen time in both corner outfield spots.

While a minor league signing really can't be bad, the way things shake up right now, Dozier would not only have a chance to be one of the first players called up in the event of an injury, he'd have a shot at cracking the Angels Opening Day roster as Anthony Rendon insurance. That's less than ideal, and something the Angels would benefit from changing as the offseason progresses.

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