The Angels have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran infielder Ehire Adrianza, manager Ron Washington announced to beat writers in camp this morning (X link via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com). It’s a minor league deal, although Adrianza hasn’t completed his physical, so the Warner Sports Management client’s deal is not official just yet.
The 34-year-old Adrianza knows Washington well, having spent the majority of the past three seasons in the Braves organization where Washington was coaching before being hired back to a manager’s post in Anaheim this offseason. He’ll bring some versatility to camp and compete for a spot on the Halos’ bench.
Adrianza has appeared in the majors in each of the past 11 seasons, typically filling a bench role. He’s suited up for the Giants, Twins and Nats in addition to the Braves and sports a career .238/.308/.352 batting line in 1550 trips to the plate. He appeared in only five big league games and another 15 Triple-A contests with Atlanta last season due to an elbow injury that sent him to the 60-day IL for the bulk of the 2023 campaign.
Though his numbers from 2022-23 are unsightly (.159/.248/.187 in 121 plate appearances), Adrianza was an important utility piece for the Braves as recently as 2021, when he hit .247/.327/.401 and played six positions during Atlanta’s World Series-winning season. He’s played every position other than catcher in the big leagues — including three innings of mop-up work on the mound. At this stage of his career, Adrianza isn’t considered the plus infield defender he was in his 20s, but he’s unlikely to be a liability in the infield, either.
The Angels’ bench right now will include backup catcher Matt Thaiss and outfielder Aaron Hicks, who signed a big league deal earlier this offseason. The other two spots are more open for the taking. Former top prospect Jo Adell is out of minor league options and will need to make the club or else be traded or placed on waivers. Infielder Michael Stefanic could make the club as a bat-first utility option, but he does have a minor league option remaining. Adrianza will join fellow non-roster veterans Hunter Dozier, Miguel Sano and Richie Martin (among others) in vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster.