The Angels added another player to the mix of infielders who will compete for the second base job next spring when they acquired Johnny Giavotella from the Kansas City Royals for reliever Brian Broderick.
Giavotella, 27, hit .238 with a .277 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage in 125 big-league games over the past four seasons but was designated for assignment on Thursday to make room on Kansas City’s 40-man roster for newly acquired pitcher Kris Medlen.
Primarily a second baseman, Giavotella, a second-round pick out of the University of New Orleans in 2008, hit .308 with seven homers, 33 doubles, 61 runs batted in, 66 runs and 20 stolen bases in 114 games for triple-A Omaha last season.
Giavotella will compete with Grant Green, Josh Rutledge and Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston for the second base job vacated by veteran Howie Kendrick, who was traded to the Dodgers last week.
To clear room on the 40-man roster for Giavotella, the Angels released utility infielder Shawn O'Malley.
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto said the trade for Giavotella “won’t necessarily” end the team’s pursuit of free-agent infielder Gordon Beckham, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in August but was not tendered a contract. “We’re simply creating depth and more in-house options,” Dipoto said.
Broderick, 28, signed a minor league deal with the Angels this off-season after spending 2014 with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. The right-hander most recently played with Charros de Jalisco in the Mexican Winter League.
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