A 10-year stint in the Angels organization, including the last two as a big league reserve, came to an abrupt end for Bobby Wilson on Monday when the catcher was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, a move that clears the way for Hank Conger to be the Angels’ No. 2 catcher.
“I wasn’t expecting the phone call, and I don’t know what to think of it, but it’s time to move forward,” said Wilson, a solid defensive player who hit .211 in 75 games last season. “I thought the staff was comfortable with me. Knowing the system and being relatively cheap, I thought it was a good situation for me.”
As a player entering his first year of arbitration, Wilson, who made $487,500 last season, would have cost the Angels a little more than they will pay Conger, a first-round pick in 2006, next season.
But a more likely reason for the move is that with starter Chris Iannetta locked up to a three-year, $15.55-million deal earlier this month, Conger, who bats left-handed and has considerably more offensive upside than Wilson, is a better complement to the right-handed-hitting Iannetta.
Wilson, 29, hit .208 in parts of five seasons with the Angels. Though he was placed on Toronto’s 40-man roster, he is third on the team’s catching depth chart behind J.P. Arencibia and former Angel Jeff Mathis.
The Angels also announced that outfielder Jeremy Moore, who missed all of last season because of a hip injury, has cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Salt Lake.