The Angels have claimed infielder Andrew Velazquez off waivers from the Yankees, per announcements from both teams. New York added that catcher Rob Brantly has been outrighted to Triple-A. He’s no longer on the 40-man roster and will be able to elect minor league free agency.
Selected to the Yankees’ roster in early August, Velazquez became something of a fan favorite down the stretch thanks to his Bronx roots and solid glove at shortstop. Well-regarded as he was by the fanbase, Velazquez didn’t offer his hometown club much with the bat. He hit just .224/.235/.358 in 68 plate appearances, and that’s actually a bit better than the .156/.257/.219 line he posted for three teams from 2018-20.
To his credit, the 27-year-old Velazquez is coming off a much better .273/.362/.451 showing over 306 Triple-A plate appearances. He offers a capable glove throughout the infield and could factor into an uncertain middle infield mix in Anaheim if he sticks on the roster all winter.
Brantly played in six big league games this past season, his seventh year logging at least minimal MLB action. The 32-year-old backstop hit a strong .289/.379/.456 in Triple-A this year and should attract interest from other clubs on minor league arrangements if/when he elects free agency.