Angels sign Berry to Minor League contract

Outfielder has been caught stealing just once in his career

Angels sign Berry to Minor League contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Angels, still trying to round out their outfield depth, have signed veteran speedster Quintin Berry to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite.

Berry has played in only 31 Major League games over the past three years, but he's one of the game's most skilled basestealers. During a solid rookie season in 2012, Berry went 21-for-21 in stolen-base attempts, an American League record that has since been topped by Alcides Escobar.

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The 31-year-old left-handed hitter has only been caught stealing once in 33 attempts throughout his Major League career, a stretch that includes five stolen bases during the postseason.

Originally a fifth-round Draft pick by the Phillies in 2006, Berry spent most of last season with the Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate, batting .228/.329/.287 with four homers and 35 steals in 106 games. He's a .265/.336/.368 hitter in 125 Major League games.

Berry is a natural center fielder who can also play the corners. He'll compete with the likes of Todd Cunningham, Rafael Ortega and Efren Navarro for a spot off the bench.

"He can go," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said of Berry. "He can do some things."

Worth noting

• Eppler wouldn't say whether he has interest in star Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda, who is being posted. But the first-year GM has seen Maeda pitch in person several times and called him "a very talented pitcher" with "lots of savvy and know-how." Still, the Angels aren't expected to add to their rotation.

• Eppler said adding another option at designated hitter and first base, to protect in the event C.J. Cron struggles, "hasn't really been at the forefront." He is confident, however, that the Angels will ultimately acquire other options for third base, in addition to Kyle Kubitza and Kaleb Cowart.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.