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The Angels today have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.125 million contract with left-handed reliever Alex Claudio.

Claudio, 28, has appeared in 239 games across the last four seasons, which ranks third in the Majors, including 83 appearances in 2019 for Milwaukee which led the Majors and tied the Brewers franchise record.

Claudio is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has compiled a 15-8 career record with 13 saves and a 3.44 ERA (311.2 IP – 119 ER) in 311 games for the Rangers (2014-18) and Brewers (2019-20).

Between this signing and the Angels’ acquisition of Raisel Iglesias, the bullpen has been an early focus for newly-hired general manager Perry Minasian. Left-handed relief was a particular need for the team, and that need that now been addressed with Claudio, who has held left-handed batters to a minuscule .202/.246/.310 slash line over 487 plate appearances during his career.

Claudio is a groundball specialist (career 60.6% grounder rate). He doesn’t miss a lot of bats, as evidenced by his career 6.27 K/9.  He is a lefty specialist (right-handed batters have hit .305/.356/.442 against him), but adjusted well to the three batter rule in 2020. The increased exposure to right-handed hitters could explain why Claudio’s grounder rate dropped to only 46.6% over 19 innings last season, though that could also just be an anomaly of the 2020 season’s small sample size.

Claudio did see his ERA rise just from 4.06 in 2019 to 4.29 last season. But he also saw improvements from year to year in FIP, WHIP, home runs per nine, walks per nine, and strikeouts per nine, among other categories.

Claudio was originally selected by the Rangers in the 27th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and was traded to Milwaukee on Dec. 13, 2018 in exchange for a Competitive Balance Round A selection.

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