FEB. 7: Ackley’s pact features a $2.25MM major league salary and $1.4MM in incentives, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
FEB. 4: The Angels have announced the signing of infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley to a minor league contract. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training for Ackley, a Boras Corporation client.
It took Ackley just under three months to land anywhere after the Yankees released him in late November. That came on the heels of a truncated season in which the 28-year-old accrued a meager 70 plate appearances and hit an ugly .148/.243/.148 before undergoing surgery on a torn right shoulder labrum in early June.
Ackley was far more successful in 2015, a year divided between Seattle and New York, as he slashed a still-unremarkable .231/.284/.429 in 264 trips to the plate. All told, Ackley has posted a .241/.304/.367 line over the first 2,347 PAs of his career, which makes the lefty-swinger’s major league tenure a substantial disappointment after the Mariners took him second overall in the 2009 draft. Ackley then ranked as one of Baseball America’s 12 best prospects to conclude both the ’09 and ’10 campaigns.
On the bright side, Ackley has mostly earned plus defensive grades at second base and in left field – his primary positions – and comes with first base experience. Defensive Runs Saved (plus-19) and Ultimate Zone Rating (10.7) have liked his work in 2,514 innings at the keystone, while he’s at plus-2 DRS and 3.7 UZR in 1,588 innings as a left fielder.
In his return to the American League West, Ackley figures to vie for a bench role behind Angels second baseman Danny Espinosa, first base options Luis Valbuena, C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols, and outfielders Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and Cameron Maybin. The club’s top bench choices entering the spring are light-hitting infielder Cliff Pennington and outfielder Ben Revere, whom the Angels gave a guaranteed $4MM earlier this winter.