The Angels added outfielder Juan Lagares on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training on Thursday. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reports the deal will pay Lagares $1.25 million if he makes the Major League roster.
In addition to Lagares, the Angels announced the additions of 23 other non-roster invitees: starting pitchers Denny Brady, Davis Daniel, Reid Detmers, Jake Faria, Packy Naughton and Thomas Pannone; relievers Junior Guerra, Brendan McCurry, Jake Reed and Ben Rowen; catchers Juan Graterol, Jack Kruger, Anthony Mulrine, Keinner Piña and Harrison Wenson; infielders Phil Gosselin, Jeremiah Jackson, Jose Rojas, Livan Soto and Kean Wong; and outfielders Jordyn Adams, Brennon Lund, and Scott Schebler.
Lagares is a defensive specialist in center field who's played eight big league seasons with the Mets and won a Gold Glove Award in 2014. He could compete for a backup outfielder job in Anaheim, with Mike Trout, Justin Upton and the newly acquired Dexter Fowler set to start for the Angels.
That would be a similar role to the one Lagares often held with the Mets. The Angels' other fourth outfielder candidates include Jo Adell, Taylor Ward, Scott Schebler and Brandon Marsh.
The 31-year-old Lagares only appeared in two games for the Mets in 2020, spending most of the season at the team's alternate training site. But he's coming off an excellent showing with Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League, including being named the league’s finals MVP after hitting .379 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in the seven-game series. He also led also the club to a championship in the Caribbean Series, for which he was also named MVP.
Lagares is a .254 career hitter with 25 home runs and a .659 OPS in 718 career MLB games.