ANAHEIM — The Angels have agreed to terms on a Minor League deal with Eric Young Jr., giving the outfielder a chance to return for a second season with the Major League club and compete for a bench spot in 2018.
Young, 32, batted .264 with a .754 OPS, four home runs and 12 stolen bases in 47 games with the Angels in 2017, most notably giving the club a boost after Mike Trout went on the disabled list with a torn thumb ligament in May.
A switch-hitter who can play all three outfield spots, Young will be in the mix to become the Angels’ fourth outfielder. The club already has Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun projected as starters, but it has been searching for a reserve who could handle center field. Rymer Liriano, who signed a Minor League deal in December, and prospect Michael Hermosillo are also candidates for the job.
The Angels have also agreed to terms on a Minor League deal with Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez, who was released by the Dodgers in November. Fernandez, 29, can play second and third base and is a left-handed hitter who batted .306 with an .863 OPS in 93 games between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2017. He received a $200,000 signing bonus when he joined the Dodgers on a Minor League contract last year.
• General manager Billy Eppler will travel to Japan later this month to meet with Shohei Ohtani and officials from the two-way star’s former club, the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
“The purpose of the trip is just to have some time to get a little bit more detailed into workload and the management aspect of the player,” Eppler said. “I figured that if we got an opportunity to do that well in advance of Spring Training, it will just help us.”