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Angels reportedly in talks with Moustakas

Free-agent 3B would provide pop to infield; Ramirez throws bullpen in rehab from Tommy John surgery
February 15, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels have had recent conversations about free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Friday.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels have had recent conversations about free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Friday.

Adding Moustakas would give the Angels power from the left side and would allow Zack Cozart to open the season at second base instead of third. But it still would be a surprising addition, as Angels general manager Billy Eppler said he had to stretch the budget and ask permission from owner Arte Moreno to sign closer Cody Allen to a one-year, $8.5 million deal on Jan. 22.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
The Angels also have infield depth, as David Fletcher is the favorite to win the second-base job and prospect Luis Rengifo is getting close to being Major League ready. Third baseman Taylor Ward will compete with Fletcher and Rengifo for a roster spot this spring. They don't have the power of Moustakas, but they are better contact hitters and defenders.
Moustakas, though, isn't likely to get more than a one-year deal, much like last offseason, when he returned to the Royals on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million with an option for '19. Moustakas, 30, hit a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 homers, 33 doubles and 95 RBIs in 152 games with Milwaukee and Kansas City, but his option was declined by the Brewers as he received a $1 million buyout.
The Brewers, though, are still considered the favorite to bring back Moustakas, while others in the mix include the Padres and Phillies. Moustakas is a local product, however, as he was born in Los Angeles and drafted out of Chatsworth High School by the Royals with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 Draft.
Angels tidbits
• Right-hander JC Ramírez, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen session without any issues on Friday. He threw only fastballs and will continue to build up his workload. He's on target for a return sometime in June, but the Angels haven't determined if he will return as a starter or a reliever.

• Others who threw bullpen sessions on Friday included right-handers Jaime Barria, Taylor Cole and Cam Bedrosian. The Angels have been making use of new technology available to clubs, installing both a Rapsodo device to track data such as spin rates as well as Edgertronic high-speed cameras to see how the ball is coming out of pitchers' hands and more.
"Most of the guys love it," manager Brad Ausmus said. "What it gives you is instant feedback on what you are trying to do. If you're a pitcher, it tracks your hand when you're trying to make a change. You can feel how it felt, but then also look at the Edgertronic to see what it looked like. Eventually, you get the point where you feel it, you look at it and it's right, and then you can repeat that."
Shohei Ohtani watched the bullpen sessions of Barria, Cole and Bedrosian, but Ausmus said there is still no timetable for when Ohtani will be able to start his throwing program. He's still only taking dry swings and will progress to hitting off a tee next.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.