Free-agent first baseman Justin Bour reaches deal with Angels
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Justin Bour is set to bring the Los Angeles Angels key depth they need until stars Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani are fully recovered from surgery.
The Angels and the free agent first baseman have reached a deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
Bour's contract is pending a physical, the person said on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized.
The 30-year-old Bour hit 20 homers and drove in 59 runs with the Marlins and Phillies last season. He played 112 of his 141 games with Miami before an August trade to Philadelphia.
Bour didn't find a regular spot for Philadelphia down the stretch. The Phillies wouldn't have a spot for him this year, either, after moving Rhys Hoskins back to first base and signing corner outfielder Andrew McCutchen to $50 million, three-year contract during the winter meetings.
Bour batted .227 combined, missing time late with an oblique strain. He's hit 83 home runs over the last four years.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler knew he needed options as Pujols and Ohtani rehab.
Pujols, who turns 39 next month, is working back from surgery on his left knee and right elbow and hasn't yet swung a bat. He had season-ending knee surgery in August followed by the elbow procedure in September to remove bone spurs.
Japanese two-way star Ohtani is recovering in Japan from Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1. The Angels are encouraged by the AL Rookie of the Year's progress at this early stage.
When Pujols and Ohtani are healthy, the top choice is for Pujols to play first and Ohtani serve as designated hitter — which will happen sooner than he pitches again. Pujols would DH when Ohtani is unavailable or, eventually, back to starting every fifth day.