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Angels reverse decision to furlough scouts as MLB relaxes rules

Angel Stadium
The Angels will begin their preparation for the 2021 draft with a crew of nine scouts after the MLB lifted a ban on in-person scouting earlier this week.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

The Angels this week reversed course on their decision to furlough nine scouts after Major League Baseball lifted a ban on in-person scouting, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to publicly comment on Thursday.

Last month, the Angels drew criticism when they announced severe cuts across various departments. Among them, members of the team’s player development staff and minor league coaches and coordinators would be furloughed June 1. All their area scouts were to be furloughed on that date, about a week and a half before the start of the abbreviated amateur-player draft. They had planned to lay off cross-checkers in mid-June.

With the draft behind them and an MLB ban in place since March 19, the Angels had not anticipated being able to evaluate talent at any showcase events this summer. But MLB informed teams on Monday that they could resume in-person scouting with a limit of three scouts per amateur event.

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The Angels will promptly begin their preparation for the 2021 draft with a crew of nine cross-checkers. They have three scouts at Perfect Game National, which began Wednesday in Alabama and typically draws hundreds of high school prospects. The World Wood Bat Assn. national championship, another scouting event, takes place in mid-July.

The Angels could deploy some of their scouts to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents, but locking up players could be challenging. There is a bonus cap of $20,000 per signing. The NCAA also granted an extra year of eligibility to spring sports athletes after their seasons were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, so many top undrafted college and junior college players will try their luck in the 2021 draft.

The Angels were one of three teams that had not signed any undrafted free agents as of Thursday morning.

Restrictions are still in place on the international scouting front.


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