Angels claim Navarro, two relievers off waivers
Left-handers LaFromboise, Rasmussen added to fill 40-man roster
ANAHEIM -- The Angels added three players off the waiver wire on Wednesday, claiming switch-hitting middle infielder Rey Navarro from the Orioles, lefty reliever Bobby LaFromboise from the Pirates and lefty reliever Rob Rasmussen from the Mariners.
To make room on the 40-man roster, now at capacity, the Angels requested release waivers for Minor League catcher Rafael Lopez and outrighted right-handed reliever A.J. Achter to Triple-A. Among the new trio of players, LaFromboise is the only one without options.
Rasmussen (Poly High School in Pasadena) and LaFromboise (Warren High School in Downey) are both Southern California products.
Navarro, a day removed from turning 26, is a career .264/.312/.375 hitter in the Minor Leagues and is considered a strong defender up the middle. Originally a third-round pick by the D-backs in the 2007 Draft, the Puerto Rico product appeared in 10 games last season and joins his fifth professional organization.
On the Angels, Navarro could provide some Triple-A middle-infield depth along with Taylor Featherston, or perhaps challenge Johnny Giavotella for the starting job at second base if no other moves are made at that position.
Rasmussen has appeared in 30 Major League games over the last two years, giving up 22 runs (21 earned) in 26 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old is joining his sixth pro team, just five years after the Marlins made him a second-round pick out of UCLA. Rasmussen transitioned to the bullpen full time in 2014 and posted a 2.36 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP for the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate last year, striking out 8.6 batters and walking 4.3 per nine innings.
LaFromboise has a 3.63 ERA in 27 appearances in the Majors over the last three years and spent most of last season with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 2.98 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP while striking out 8.6 batters and walking 3.5 per innings. The 29-year-old LaFromboise was originally an eighth-round pick by the Mariners in the 2008 Draft and sports a 3.56 ERA in his Minor League career, with all of his appearances over the last five years in relief.
The Angels now have 11 relievers who can factor into their Major League depth chart next season: Huston Street, Joe Smith, Fernando Salas, Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez, Cory Rasmus, Cam Bedrosian, Deolis Guerra, Rasmussen, LaFromboise and Achter. Street and Smith make up the final six outs, while Salas, Rasmus, LaFromboise and Guerra (a Rule 5 Draft pick) can't be optioned.