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Angels agree to terms with pitcher Al Alburquerque

The Angels have agreed to terms with veteran reliever Al Alburquerque on a major league contract pending a physical, according to a person familiar with the deal but not authorized to speak publicly about it because it is not official.

The deal is for $1.1 million in base salary and includes performance bonuses.

Alburquerque, 29, was not tendered a contract by the Detroit Tigers this winter after the hard-throwing but sometimes erratic right-hander went 4-1 with a 4.21 earned-run average in 61 games, striking out 58 and walking 33 in 62 innings.

He had a career record of 17-6 with a 3.20 ERA in five seasons with the Tigers and lifetime per-nine-innings rates of 11.0 strikeouts and 5.0 walks, the latter figure high for any pitcher, starter or reliever. His career swing-and-miss rate of 14.1% is strong.

The average velocity of Alburquerque’s fastball has also declined steadily, but not precipitously, throughout his career, from a high of 95.4 mph as a rookie in 2011 to a low of 93.1 mph last season, according to Fangraphs. That may have contributed to a drop in his strikeout rate to 8.4 per nine innings in 2015.

Alburquerque will provide depth to a bullpen that lost hard-throwing seventh-inning man Trevor Gott, who was traded to Washington for third baseman Yunel Escobar in December.

He is expected to join right-handers Fernando Salas and Mike Morin in the mix of relievers Manager Mike Scioscia uses ahead of setup man Joe Smith and closer Huston Street and sometimes in place of them when the two late-inning relievers are not available.

With just under five years of major league service time, Albuquerque will be under club control through the 2017 season.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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