The Los Angeles Angels announced on Thursday evening that they signed an extension contract with catcher Max Stassi to a three-year, $17.5 million deal. The deal buys out the 31-year-old from the free-agent world as his contract will end this season. Stassi has agreed to a $3 million salary for the upcoming season.
Joining several players like Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, Stassi will receive $3 million in 2022, $7 million in 2023, and 2024. In 2025, the contract includes a $7.5 million club option or a $500,000 buyout.
Stassi career history
Stassi appeared in the last nine big league seasons from 2013-2019 with the Houston Astros and was traded later in July 2019 to the Los Angeles Angels. The righty-hitting backstop unfortunately did not do much for the Astros back in 2016. Without any home runs, Stassi only averaged .077 with 13 at-bats in nine games.
Meanwhile, the following year was better when he averaged .167 in 14 games with 24 at-bats. However, it was still considered a declining performance if compared to his 2015 with the Astros where he batted .400 in 11 games with 15 at-bats and 1 homerun.
In 2021, Stassi appeared in 87 games and picked up 282 at-bats. He hit an increasing performance of .241 with 13 home runs if compared to his least performing in 2019 with the Angels with only .071 and zero home runs in 20 games played. By production, the right-batter was inclining since 2019.
Plagued by left hip injuries which required an offseason surgery before the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Stassi thankfully entered this past offseason healthy. This winter, the Angels also re-signed Kurt Suzuki who will serve as Stassi’s backup. Aside from that, both players will join Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh.
Adell, Marsh with LA Angels
Previously, Adell and Marsh have been teammates for several years, both in their 20s and outfielders. Several years back, they have been struggling in their performance but later proved as the Angels’ top position-playing prospects.
Adell was promoted to the NFL playing for the Angels in August 2020. In 38 games played, he averaged .161 with 124 at-bats and 3 home runs. Meanwhile, Marsh was just acquired in 2021. Before his promotion, Marsh was assigned to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees to begin the 2021 season. In 70 games, he batted an average of .254 with two homers and 236 at-bats, obviously not bad at all.
“It was a slap in the face at first, a wake-up call,” Marsh said. “It was good.”
Obviously, the struggle could have been their lack of experience as they are fresh from a high school graduate. The resilience, determination, and improved performance of the two young outfielders land them for bigger roles in the NFL.
“The next step is to be considered an everyday major league player,” the Angels’ manager Joe Maddon said recently. “They’re both going to be that with good health.”
Adell, who turns 23 on April 8, and Marsh who is still 24, are right and left batter, respectively. Though their journey has yet to begin, they received compliments from Maddon.
“That’s the discussion, something we’ll have to look at going through the whole thing,” Maddon said. “These are young, really good baseball players. For a guy who’s older, who’s been around longer, [a platoon role] becomes more palatable.