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Angels sign middle infielder Sanchez

The Angels, preparing for the likely possibility that long-time backup Maicer Izturis departs via free agency this offseason, recently added some middle-infield depth, signing Angel Sanchez to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Sanchez, 29, will "create competition for the utility-infield spot" in the Majors, alongside Andrew Romine and anyone else the Angels may sign before camp opens.

Sanchez, who hits right-handed, was an 11th-round Draft pick by the Royals in 2001, spent eight years in the organization, was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays heading into '09, joined the Red Sox as a free agent the following offseason and was traded to the Astros in exchange for Kevin Cash in July 2010.

Sanchez is a shortstop by trade, but also has experience at second and third base. In 184 career Major League games, he has a .255/.304/.308 slash line. But it was his season at Triple-A that caught the Angels' eye, as he hit .320 with a .390 on-base percentage in 107 Pacific Coast League games.

Maicer Izturis, Angel Sanchez