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MLB free agency: Angels reportedly sign Justin Bour to give them another above-average hitter

The Los Angeles Angels are once again trying to surround Mike Trout, baseball’s best player, with a capable surrounding cast. The Angels had been mostly quiet to this point in the offseason, but on Wednesday they added some potential oomph to their roster by reportedly agreeing to terms with first baseman — ahem, “first baseman” — Justin Bour.

Bour, 30, split last season between National League East teams. He hit for a 115 OPS+ in 112 games with the Miami Marlins, but posted just a 72 OPS+ in a 29-game cameo with the Philadelphia Phillies. Historically, he’s been a better hitter than either stint suggests. Over the last three seasons, Bour has batted .258/.352/.469 (125 OPS+) with 60 home runs.

The interesting question is how the defensively-challenged Bour fits onto the Angels roster. Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani would seem entrenched at first base and DH — albeit for different reasons. That Bour needs a dance partner against left-handed pitchers figures to also shape his usage. For now, it’s possible he enters the season as Brad Ausmus’s top pinch-hitter.



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