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Angels sign 7 to Minor League contracts

LAS VEGAS — The Angels didn’t make any significant moves on the second day of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, but they did announce the signing of seven players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

The Angels inked right-handers Forrest Snow and Matt Ramsey, catcher Dustin Garneau, infielder Wilfredo Tovar and outfielders Peter Bourjos, Jarrett Parker and Cesar Puello to add to their depth.

LAS VEGAS — The Angels didn’t make any significant moves on the second day of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, but they did announce the signing of seven players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

The Angels inked right-handers Forrest Snow and Matt Ramsey, catcher Dustin Garneau, infielder Wilfredo Tovar and outfielders Peter Bourjos, Jarrett Parker and Cesar Puello to add to their depth.

“Our history’s been to use a lot of players,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “We’re not trying to set records or anything. Odds are you’ll see some of those guys at some point or even out of spring.”

It marks a return to the organization for Bourjos, who played with the Angels from 2010-13 and appeared in 36 games with the Braves last season, hitting .205/.239/.364. He’ll compete for a job as an extra outfielder.

Snow, who turns 30 this month, has been used as a starting pitcher in recent seasons in the Minors, posting a 4.82 ERA at Triple-A Durham (Rays) in 2018. Eppler said they liked Snow’s off-speed as he struck out 119 in 126 2/3 innings.

“Some of his secondary stuff, we gravitated to,” Eppler said. “Positive scouting reports. Our scouting reports and our analytics group kind of converged on that recommendation, so we went with it.”

Ramsey, 29, is a reliever who struck out 63 batters in 53 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year while in Houston’s organization.

Garneau, a Cal State Fullerton product, has appeared in four Major League seasons, hitting .194/.269/.321 in 88 games. He gives the Angels some catching depth.

Video: CWS@TB: Garneau plates Anderson with an RBI single

Tovar, 27, also has some Major League experience, playing in nine games with the Mets from 2013-14.

Puello, 27, is a former top prospect who played in the Angels’ system in 2017 and hit .317/.426/.454 in 73 games last season with the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate.

Parker is a .257/.335/.456 hitter in 135 games with Giants from 2015-17, but he didn’t play last season after being released by San Francisco. He’s healthy after breaking his clavicle in ’17 and could be an option for the Angels as a lefty bat with power off the bench.

“He’s good,” Eppler said of Parker’s injury situation. “I feel comfortable with it.”

Video: LAD@SF: Parker bounces homer off the top of the wall

As for additions to the Major League roster, Eppler said Tuesday was about 50/50 in terms of meeting with agents and talking with other clubs about potential trades. He also clarified his football analogy from Monday, when he said they could go for a field goal but wanted to score a touchdown.

“There are some small things we could do right now, but we’re not sure we want to do those quite yet in hopes we can do things that are above smaller,” Eppler said.

He also said if all things were equal, he’d lean toward adding a defensive-minded catcher over one who is more offense-orientated. But adding pitching remains the top priority, and Eppler is not focusing more on starters or relief at this point.

“I’ll take either,” Eppler said. “Whatever one where the acquisition price or trade meets the value to the club. If it’s a reliever, great, if it’s a starter, great. If we get one, we’ll probably continue to look for another and stay engaged in that marketplace on the mound.”

Video: Rosenthal on Angels trying to add starting pitchers

Worth noting
Albert Pujols continues to make progress after undergoing left knee surgery in late August, but he has yet to start swinging a bat.

“He’s doing all upper body stuff and he’s doing light impact lower body stuff right now,” Eppler said. “He’s working with a strength coach. It’s the same strength coach that he worked with last year.”

• The Angels haven’t decided whether right-hander JC Ramirez will serve as a starter or reliever when he returns from Tommy John surgery in June. Eppler said they don’t have to make that decision until May, and much of it will be determined by the club’s needs. Ramirez, 30, made just two starts with the Angels in 2018, but posted a 4.15 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings in ’17, when he made 24 starts and three relief appearances.

• The Angels also haven’t determined whether top prospects Jo Adell or Griffin Canning will be in Major League camp, but lefty Jose Suarez will be, as he’s on the 40-man roster. Adell is the club’s No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, while Canning is No. 2 and Suarez is ranked No. 8.

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



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