DECEMBER 22: Drury’s contract is now official. The Angels introduced the transfer on Thursday night.
DECEMBER 20: The Angels have continued their energetic offseason, agreeing to a two-year contract with free agent infielder Brandon Drury. The deal reportedly ensures the Wasserman shopper $17MM.
Drury earns the primary multi-year assure of his profession after a personal-best season. He seemed to have settled into journeyman territory in recent times. After a number of seasons enjoying a semi-regular function with the Diamondbacks, Drury suited up with all the Yankees, Blue Jays and Mets from 2018-21. He hit simply .211/.254/.360 in 137 video games with Toronto from 2019-20, leading to his outright on the finish of that season. Drury performed properly in a restricted search for the Mets the subsequent yr, however New York designated him for project at yr’s finish.
The Oregon native signed a minor league contract with the Reds shortly after the lockout. Whereas the transfer generated little fanfare on the time, it’d’ve been one of the best non-roster pact signed all offseason. Drury broke camp with the large league membership and nearly instantly performed his method into on a regular basis reps. He related on 20 house runs in 92 video games as a Purple, posting a cumulative .274/.335/.520 line throughout 385 plate appearances.
Whereas Cincinnati struck gold on their minor league association with Drury, their 2022 season on the entire was a catastrophe. With the staff properly out of competition by the deadline, the upcoming free agent turned one of many sport’s most evident commerce candidates. Cincinnati dealt Drury to the Padres for infield prospect Victor Acosta on deadline day. He performed the ultimate couple months in San Diego, providing strong however not spectacular manufacturing.
Drury related on a grand slam in his first at-bat as a Padre, however his work from that time ahead was roughly common. Whereas related on eight homers in 185 journeys to the dish, that got here with a meager 4.9% stroll fee and a .290 on-base share. It was an analogous story within the postseason, with Drury reaching base in simply eight of 31 journeys to the plate.
Comparatively gradual end apart, Drury had a powerful yr total. He picked up 28 homers (plus another within the postseason), managing a .263/.320/.492 line in 568 plate appearances. Cincinnati’s very hitter-friendly Nice American Ball Park definitely performed to his power, as Drury posted a .298/.354/.561 mark in 223 journeys to the plate at that venue. His .240/.299/.447 line in 345 plate appearances in all different parks was nearer to common, however the Angels will take a shot on him bringing an above-average bat to Orange County.
Drury has an aggressive offensive method and barely walks, drawing free passes simply 6.7% of the time this previous season. He makes contact at an above-average clip and has strong energy from the right-handed batter’s field, although. Drury’s 42.2% arduous contact fee was round seven share factors greater than the league mark. He put the bat on the ball on 81.2% of his swings this yr, round 5 factors higher than common. This yr’s 28-homer exhibiting is an outlier in comparison with the remainder of his profession, however he’s topped 15 longballs on two different events whereas hitting north of .260 in three years.
The 30-year-old has some defensive flexibility. He’s performed principally second and third base all through his large league profession, logging round 1500 innings at each spots. Public metrics have been blended on his work, although each Defensive Runs Saved and Statcast really feel he’s higher suited on the keystone than on the scorching nook. Drury isn’t prone to win a Gold Glove, however he’s rated as a succesful defender at each positions. He additionally has a good quantity of expertise at first base and within the nook outfield, although he’s not an everyday choice in middle area or at shortstop.
The Halos have centered on upgrading their roster with strong however not elite additions, attacking the dearth of depth that has burned them repeatedly in current seasons. They landed the ultimate years of arbitration management over Gio Urshela and Hunter Renfroe through commerce and inked Tyler Anderson and Carlos Estévez to free agent offers. Drury now seems to be as if he’ll be a part of that blend, serving an analogous function to Urshela as a righty-swinging infielder who can bounce across the diamond.
Second base appears prone to be Drury’s main house. Enjoying him there repeatedly might push David Fletcher and/or Luis Rengifo extra continuously to shortstop, the place the Angels obtained nothing offensively this previous season. Urshela may also often consider at shortstop whereas serving as harm insurance coverage for Anthony Rendon at third base. Each gamers supply potential platoon enhances at first base to the lefty-swinging Jared Walsh, as properly.
There’s not a complete lot locked in round Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Renfroe within the on a regular basis lineup. Normal supervisor Perry Minasian and his group have labored arduous to herald higher offensive choices for supervisor Phil Nevin to maneuver across the diamond in 2023, and the teaching employees has a number of extra weapons at their disposal than they’d this previous season.
They’ve saved these investments to comparatively quick phrases, with Anderson’s three-year pact standing because the longest of their offseason commitments. There was loads of uncertainty hanging over the group with proprietor Arte Moreno exploring a sale of the franchise, however the entrance workplace has no less than had loads of leeway to make notable short-term commitments. Drury’s contract falls proper according to MLBTR’s prediction of two years and $18MM.
The precise monetary breakdown has but to be reported, however a fair wage distribution would push the membership’s payroll projection round $206MM, per Roster Resource. They’ll simply prime this previous season’s $189MM franchise-record Opening Day determine as they search to compete with the defending World Collection champion Astros, Mariners and upstart Rangers within the AL West. Whatever the monetary distribution, the deal will depend for $8.5MM in opposition to the membership’s luxurious tax ledger. That’s abruptly a related consideration for the Halos, with Roster Useful resource projecting them for a CBT quantity round $220MM. That’s $13MM shy of the $233MM base tax threshold.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported the Angels and Drury had been in settlement on a two-year, $17MM contract.
Picture courtesy of USA At this time Sports activities.