The Los Angeles Angels signed Brandon Drury to a two-year deal. The 30-year-old is coming off a career year and will hopefully carry that momentum into this season playing for the team he grew up rooting for.
Drury should be the primary second baseman on Opening Day. The Halos have Anthony Rendon penciled in at third, and a combination of Jared Walsh and Gio Urshela likely getting most of the reps at first. What about shortstop?
What does the Brandon Drury signing mean regarding the futures of David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo?
Right now, the shortstop situation is an interesting one. With Drury part of the fold, the Angels have made it clear that their intention is to add as much quality depth as possible. After last season's debacle with the injuries that occurred to key players, I think that's the right approach to take.
Drury and Gio Urshela are both primary third baseman but have played all over the infield and both Drury has played both corner outfield spots as well. The issue here is neither player has much experience at shortstop and really shouldn't be playing there at all.
The Angels have two choices for their shortstop spot, Rengifo and Fletcher. Neither option is particularly great.
Fletcher is an elite defender at second base but hasn't been anything special at shortstop in the chances he's gotten there. He's also a poor hitter whose only good offensive season came in a 49-game sample.
Rengifo is a better hitter than Fletcher coming off his best season but isn't good defensively. I'm not a huge fan of either option.
The Angels have six infielders for four spots and that's not including guys like Livan Soto, Andrew Velazquez, Matt Thaiss, and Michael Stefanic. Depth is a great thing and I wouldn't be mad if they decided to hold onto the surplus of infielders they have, it'd just be much better if they had a shortstop.
I think it's very possible we see Luis Rengifo in another uniform on Opening Day. He's coming off his best year and has three years of control left so his value might never get higher. They can use him and a prospect to try and land a legitimate shortstop. They can also sign someone like Elvis Andrus and trade him for a pitcher. If he's still here, he's going to get a lot of starts at shortstop most likely.
Fletcher I don't think is very tradable right now and will be an Angel. He could serve as the starting shortstop or (hopefully) a utility infielder.