Angels ink David Fletcher to 5-year, $26 million contract

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Infielder David Fletcher has agreed to a five-year, $26 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Halos announced the deal Thursday before their season opener against the Chicago White Sox.

Fletcher's deal could be worth up to $41 million because it includes two club options worth $8 million in 2026 and $8.5 million in 2027.

Fletcher is a former sixth-round pick who was born and raised in Orange County. Once considered a fringe major league prospect, he played his way into a starting job at second base with the Angels after his debut in 2018.

He is a career .292 hitter with 10 homers and 92 RBIs in his three big league seasons. His 239 hits in the past two years are the seventh-most in the AL, and he led the Angels in hits and doubles last season while finishing third in the league in 2020 with a .319 average.

Along with providing stellar defence at second base or shortstop, Fletcher also is among the toughest players to strike out in recent history. His 9.67 plate appearances per strikeout since 2018 are the second-most in the big leagues.

Fletcher would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. Instead his new deal stretches through his arbitration years and across his first two potential seasons of free agency.

He will make $2 million this season, $4 million in 2022 and $6 million in 2023 and 2024, followed by $6.5 million in 2025. The Angels have a $1.5 million buyout in 2026 and 2027.

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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press