The Los Angeles Angels have signed free-agent infielder Cliff Pennington to a two-year contract, the team announced today:
Today the #Angels have signed free agent INF Cliff Pennington to a two-year contract.— Angels (@Angels) November 17, 2015
MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports that Pennington's deal with the Angels is in the range of $4 million total over the two years:
Source: Cliff Pennington receives about $4M on two-year deal with Angels.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 17, 2015
In addition, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick confirms that Pennington's deal is worth $3.75 million and has the breakdown of how much Pennington will make each season:
#Angels announce they've agreed to 2-yr deal with Cliff Pennington. $1.5M and $2.25M base salaries, plus performance bonuses.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 17, 2015
Pennington has primarily played shortstop throughout his career, but will certainly not be starting there for the Angels, who acquired Andrelton Simmons from the Braves last week. Pennington, a switch-hitter, could split time at second base with incumbent Johnny Giavotella, or serve as a backup to both Giavotella and Simmons.
Pennington split the 2015 season between the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays, moving to Toronto in a waiver trade in August. He hit .210/.298/.281 with nine extra-base hits in 210 at bats. That followed a 2014 season that saw him hit .254/.340/.350 with 10 extra-base hits in 177 at bats with Arizona.
Though his offensive numbers aren't great, Pennington's calling card is his glove, as defensive metrics rate him positively at both second base and shortstop and adequately at third base, should the Angels put him there at any point.
With a thin market for free agent middle infielders this offseason, it looks like the Angels have picked up a cost-effective utility man and followed up the Simmons trade by improving their defense yet again.
For a look at every free agent signing this offseason, check out our free agent tracker.