The Angels have signed outfielder Scott Schebler to a minor league contract, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link). Schebler will earn $900K in guaranteed money if he reaches the team’s big-league roster.
Schebler is best known for his days as a regular for the Reds from 2016-18, as he hit .248/.323/.457 with 56 homers in 1243 plate appearances over that three-season stretch (including a 30-homer campaign in 2017). Shoulder problems and struggles at the plate limited Schebler to just 30 games in 2019, however, and Cincinnati cut ties after trading him to the Braves last July. Schebler’s 2020 season consisted of just one game and one plate appearance in an Atlanta uniform before he was outrighted off the 40-man roster and sent to the Braves’ alternate training site.
While Schebler has spent much of his time as a right fielder, he has experience at all three outfield positions and displayed some decent glovework. That could give him an advantage in breaking camp with Los Angeles next spring, as the Halos are thin on outfield depth behind their projected starting trio of Jo Adell, Mike Trout, and Justin Upton.
Given Adell’s inexperience and Upton’s very rough 2020 season, having a veteran like Schebler on hand could be of particular help — ideally, Schebler could somewhat replace Brian Goodwin, who the Angels dealt to the Reds last August. It’s probably safe to assume that the Angels will bring at least a couple more veterans on minors contracts into camp (if not a more prominent acquisition) to battle for outfield jobs, and top prospect Brandon Marsh will also be in the mix.
The signing marks the first notable move for newly-hired Angels GM Perry Minasian, and it perhaps isn’t surprising that Minasian turned to a known quantity. As Nightengale points out, Minasian worked as Atlanta’s assistant GM when the Braves picked up Schebler last summer.