Angels nearing long-term extension with second baseman David Fletcher, per report


The Los Angeles Angels and second baseman David Fletcher are nearing an agreement on a five-year extension worth $26 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The contract is expected to include multiple club options that could push the totality of the pact to seven years and $41 million, per The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya

Fletcher, who will turn 27 years old on May 31, enjoyed a breakout season in 2020, hitting .319/.376/.425 (117 OPS+) with three home runs and two stolen bases. He finished 17th in Most Valuable Player Award balloting and contributed 1.9 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations. That came after a 2019 season that saw Fletcher notch a career-best 3.6 WAR. 

Fletcher is perhaps best known for his bat-to-ball skills. Last season, he made contact on 92 percent of his swings. For context, the only other two qualified hitters to top 88 percent were Tommy La Stella (90.2 percent) and DJ LeMahieu (89.9 percent). Fletcher’s 10.3 percent strikeout rate since 2018 is also the third-best percentage in the majors among qualified hitters, trailing former teammate Andrelton Simmons (8.4 percent) and Toronto Blue Jays infielder Joe Panik (10.2 percent).

Fletcher was originally slated to become arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and would have qualified for free agency after the 2024 season. Instead, the Angels has ensured they’ll control Fletcher’s services through the rest of his statistical prime and beyond. 

Fletcher is the first Angels player to receive an extension since Perry Minasian was installed as general manager over the offseason. Pitchers Dylan Bundy, Raisel Iglesias, and Andrew Heaney — all impending free agents — would seem to be other realistic candidates for extensions, should Minasian so desire. 

It’s also worth noting that Fletcher is one of just three Angels players owed guaranteed money after the 2022 season, joining outfielder Mike Trout and third baseman Anthony Rendon.

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