Angels sign infielder Pennington to two-year, $3.75M deal

Cliff Pennington struggled last season, hitting a combined .210 with three homers and 21 RBI in 105 games for Arizona and Toronto.

Rick Scuteri/Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Veteran infielder Cliff Pennington became the first free agent to switch teams this offseason when the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a two-yera, $3.75 million contract.

Pennington will make $1.5 million next year under the agreement announced Tuesday and $2.25 million in 2017. He can earn an additional $750,000 annually in performance bonuses.

Pennington began last season with Arizona and moved to Toronto in a trade in August. The switch-hitting utilityman batted .210 with three homers and 21 RBI in 105 total games, making multiple starts at five positions.

HOT STOVE LEAGUE

Pennington also became the first full-time position player to pitch in a postseason game during the AL championship series.

"His defensive versatility, along with a veteran presence in the clubhouse, will be welcomed additions to the club," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said.

Pennington spent his first five big-league seasons with Oakland before moving to Arizona in 2013. He is a career .245 hitter.

Pennington will provide depth at the middle infield positions for the Angels, who traded longtime starting shortstop Erick Aybar to Atlanta last week for shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Johnny Giavotella was the Angels’ primary starting second baseman last season after they traded longtime starter Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers. But the Angels struggled for consistent backup play from youngster Taylor Featherston and others while Giavotella was injured for several weeks down the stretch.

Pennington also can play third base and in the outfield.

He can earn $50,000 each for 225 and 250 plate appearances; $75,000 for 275 and each additional 25 through 400; and $100,000 apiece for 425 and 450.