Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error They have been connected to Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley. Moustakas only plays third, but Frazier and Headley can play both corners. If they want to get even more versatile, they could look at players like Zack Cozart, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Reyes, Yangervis Solarte and Freddy Galvis. They can all play both middle infield positions and third.As for the pitching staff, while Eppler wouldn’t rule out further additions, he said he has nine starters he’s comfortable starting a big league game: Garrett Richards, Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, Parker Bridwell, Nick Tropeano, JC Ramirez and prospect Jaime Barria. They also have a bullpen with few relievers who can be optioned, so they’d probably like to add relievers who have the flexibility to go between triple-A and the majors.Most of the work has been done, keeping Justin Upton and adding Ohtani and Kinsler.“I’m liking the groundwork that has been laid,” Eppler said. “I feel we’re bringing in guys who have performed in big environments, played on teams that have had some pressure. That pressure is a privilege, from our standpoint. I like the look of our club. I like the character of our club. Let’s see where it falls.”INVESTIGATING THE LEAK?Major league baseball will reportedly investigate the source of the leak that led to the publication of information from Ohtani’s medical report, which was provided to all 30 clubs during the process that led to him signing with the Angels.Yahoo Sports obtained a copy of the report, which showed that Ohtani had been diagnosed with a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. Eppler said the Angels were aware of the condition, and they don’t believe it’s serious. Ohtani is currently throwing in Japan and is expected to be unlimited when spring training begins.ALSOThe Angels selected right-handed reliever Luke Bard from the Minnesota Twins in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Bard, 27, posted a 2.76 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings last season, at Double-A and Triple-A. “He’s got power stuff, a plus secondary pitch, the ability to miss bats,” Eppler said. “We’re going to give him the opportunity to make our club.” If the Angels keep Bard, he will have to be on the major league roster all season, or else offered back to the Twins…The Angels also selected shortstop Riley Unroe, from Tampa Bay, and right-hander Matt Ball, from Texas, in the minor league portion the Rule 5 draft. They do not need to be in the majors. The Angels lost right-hander Damien Magnifico to Pittsburgh. Assuming the Angels have only 12 position players, at least nine of the spots are taken: catcher Martin Maldonado and his backup (Juan Graterol, at the moment), infielders Albert Pujols, Kinsler, Andrelton Simmons and Luis Valbuena, and outfielders Justin Upton, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun.That doesn’t include C.J. Cron, because he could be traded, depending on which skills the yet-to-be-acquired players bring.At a minimum, the Angels still need someone who can back up both middle infield spots and a fourth outfielder who can play center. In a perfect world, they could be the same player.“There’s not a lot of those players in baseball,” Eppler said, hinting that “sometimes you can create them,” presumably by teaching an infielder to play center. The Dodgers did it with Chris Taylor and the Seattle Mariners are attempting it with Dee Gordon.Otherwise, there are endless permutations for the players they could still acquire. LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After day after plugging the most gaping hole in the Angels everyday lineup by getting Ian Kinsler, a sleep-deprived Billy Eppler prepared to leave the winter meetings on Thursday with more work ahead.“There are some more boxes to check,” the Angels general manager said, describing the remaining pieces to find for his position player roster.The search could be even more complicated by the Angels’ likely decision to use a six-man rotation. That eliminates one bench spot and creates a greater need for positional flexibility.“We are trying to stay open minded with position players we add to the roster, and really putting a premium on flexibility,” Eppler said. “If we can acquire a guy who can play infield and outfield, that would be nice.”
"Leaving winter meetings, Angels search for flexibility in final spots"