After spending his entire big league career with the Mets, Lagaras joined a new organization for the first time last year, signing a minor league deal with the Angels. He ended up getting into 112 games for the Halos last year, hitting .236/.266/.372 for a 71 wRC+. Generally regarded as a glove-first player, that production was just a bit below his career batting line of .252/.293/.363, 80 wRC+. The 33-year-old signed another minors deal with the Angels just over two weeks ago and has played seven games for Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, hitting .308/.379/.462 in that time.
The club has a strong regular outfield mix of Mike Trout, Brandon Marsh and Taylor Ward. However, Ward has been sidelined recently after colliding with the outfield wall while making a catch. Over his first 30 games, he was hitting out of his mind to the tune of .370/.481/.713 for an absurd 245 wRC+. But he hasn’t played since May 20 because of soreness in his neck/shoulder area that resulted from that collision. Tyler Wade has been getting some starts in right field recently to cover for Ward, though he’s far more experienced on the infield in his career and hasn’t hit much this season. The Angels will hope that Lagares can provide better coverage until Ward can return to regular action. Manager Joe Maddon tells reporters, including Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, that Ward still can’t play the outfield but isn’t going on the IL because he could still come into a game as a pinch hitter.
As for Mayers, 30, he was drafted by the Cardinals and ended up seeing big league action with them in four seasons, from 2016 to 2019. However, he never got much of an extended look, logging more than 20 innings in only one of those campaigns. After being claimed by the Angels, he had an excellent showing in the shortened 2020 season, throwing 30 innings with a 2.10 ERA, 35.5% strikeout rate, 7.4% walk rate and 32.8% ground ball rate. Last year, he wasn’t able to sustain that over a full season but still had a good year, throwing 75 innings with a 3.84 ERA, 28.6% ERA, 8.3% walk rate and 37% grounder rate. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse this year, with Mayers sitting on an ERA of 5.40 through his first 16 2/3 innings and his strikeout rate collapsing to 18.7%.
Despite those poor results on the season so far, opposing teams could be interested in his services based on his success in prior seasons. He also came into this year with four years and twenty days of service time, meaning a team that adds him to their roster could retain him for next season via arbitration. Mayers and the Angels avoided arbitration for 2022 by agreeing to a $2.15MM salary.