The Angels have signed first baseman/outfielder Taylor Jones to a minor league contract, according to Jones’ official MLB.com profile page. Jones entered into minor league free agency after turning down an outright assignment from the Giants back in November.
Jones (who turned 29 last month) has appeared in each of the last three MLB seasons, all with the Astros. Of his 131 career plate appearances, 108 came in the 2021 campaign — Jones had only 22 PA in his 2020 debut season and then made just one plate appearance in a single big league game in 2022. Jones was hampered by a back injury that kept him from game action until June of last season, and though he still had solid Triple-A numbers, Houston designated him for assignment in September and the Giants claimed Jones into their organization.
Jones has only a .234/.260/.395 slash line to show for his 131 PA in the Show, but his bat has been much more productive in Triple-A ball. Jones has hit .279/.377/.485 with 49 home runs over 1257 PA at the Triple-A level, though with the caveat that Jones has likely gotten some benefit from playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
That PCL tenure will continue with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, and Jones can provide the Halos with some depth at multiple positions. Jones has played mostly first base over his career, but has also seen some time as a third baseman and a corner outfielder (primarily in left field). Los Angeles is already pretty deep in right-handed bats and Shohei Ohtani’s presence pretty much rules out DH opportunities, though depending on how the Angels juggle their roster, Jones might find a niche as a right-handed complement to Jared Walsh, who is slated to be the regular first baseman.