TEMPE, Ariz. -- He's a 28-year-old who played on four different teams before even attaining two years of Major League service time, so don't even begin to tell Collin Cowgill his spot on the 2015 Angels is "secure."
"I understand how the game works," Cowgill said. "I understand a lot, maybe more so than a lot of people, because I've found myself in a lot of situations. I don't take anything for granted. So I'm going to keep trying to work and earn it. If [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia's going to play me, it's because I deserve it. He's going to play me because he thinks I give him a chance to win, and that's the only way I want it to be."
The D-backs made Cowgill a fifth-round pick out of the University of Kentucky in 2008. After three years in their organization, including a 36-game stint in the Majors in 2011, they dealt him to the A's along with Ryan Cook and Jarrod Parker for Craig Breslow and Trevor Cahill in December 2011.
Twelve months later, Cowgill was sent to the Mets in a minor, one-for-one deal.
Six months after that -- and less than three months after hitting a grand slam on Opening Day -- he was involved in another one-for-one trade that sent him to the Angels, where he ultimately established himself as a valuable, versatile fourth outfielder.
"It's a good situation to be in, a good spot to be in, but in no way am I comfortable enough to think I have a guaranteed role," said Cowgill, who increased his 2015 salary to $995,000 in his first year of arbitration. "I still have to come out here and fight. I know there are people in this camp who are really good, as well. There's always going to be someone wanting my spot, so I have to keep earning it. That's how I approach it. I don't know if I've carved anything out."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.