Utilityman Brandon Drury and the Los Angeles Angels agreed on a two-year, $17 million contract, sources told ESPN on Tuesday, adding the Silver Slugger winner to a lineup that already acquired outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infielder Gio Urshela this winter.
Drury, 30, won the award after a 2022 breakout in which he hit .263/.320/.492 with 28 home runs and 87 RBIs. Drury’s versatility is his hallmark, as he played all four infield positions and right field this year.
After signing a minor league deal with Cincinnati in March, Drury made the Reds’ Opening Day roster and proceeded to hit 20 home runs in 92 games, turning himself from afterthought into a coveted deadline trade target. San Diego landed him for teenaged shortstop Victor Acosta, and while Drury’s numbers dipped with the Padres, he was still an above-league-average hitter.
Before 2022, Drury had bounced around from Arizona to the New York Yankees to Toronto to the New York Mets. When given playing time, he showed power – 51 home runs in 1,589 career at-bats prior to this year – but a sub-.300 on-base percentage kept teams from giving him a full-time role.
The Reds had no such smokes, and the former 13th-round pick finally had the sort of season that made up for the low OBP. With the deal, he’ll nearly triple his previous career earnings of $5.7 million.
Los Angeles’ push for relevancy in the American League West comes off a season in which the Houston Astros won the World Series and Seattle Mariners ascended to their first playoff berth in two decades while the Angels finished 73-89. Adding Drury, Renfroe and Urshela to a lineup expected to include Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Taylor Ward and Jared Walsh should help the Angels’ offense, which finished 25th in MLB in runs scored this year.