LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Angels capped a productive Winter Meetings by adding to their bullpen depth with the selection of right-hander Luke Bard during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.The move came less than 12 hours after the Angels addressed their biggest need of the offseason by announcing
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Angels capped a productive Winter Meetings by adding to their bullpen depth with the selection of right-hander Luke Bard during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.
The move came less than 12 hours after the Angels addressed their biggest need of the offseason by announcing the acquisition of veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers for Minor League prospects Troy Montgomery and Wilkel Hernandez.
General manager Billy Eppler and his staff now head back to Southern California with just a few items left on their offseason shopping list. The bulk of the Angels' roster improvements are already in place, with left fielder Justin Upton, Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, veteran reliever Jim Johnson and Kinsler secured for next season.
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"I'm liking the groundwork that's been laid and feel that we're bringing in guys who have performed in big environments and played on teams that have had some pressure to them," Eppler said Thursday. "I like the look of our club. I like the character of our club, and we'll just see where it all falls."
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Friday's signing of shortstop Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million deal fulfilled the Angels' next quest, to provide depth in the infield, as Cozart committed to a move to third base. Because the Angels seem to be leaning toward using a six-man rotation next season and would thus be limited to a three-man bench, they are putting a higher priority on players with positional flexibility this offseason, upping Cozart's appeal.
"If we do go with a six-man and carry 13 pitchers, versatility and flexibility will be everything for this roster," Eppler said. "That played a part in the construction of the roster."
The Angels picked up Bard in the Major League phase and also added shortstop Riley Unroe and right-hander Matt Ball in the Minor League portion.
Right-hander Damien Magnifico -- the Angels' No. 30 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com -- was selected by the Pirates in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
GM's bottom line
"It's hard to gauge if anything [else] is close, but we're just keeping an open mind and trying to remain opportunistic." -- Eppler
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.