The Halos announced the deal with their local talent before taking the field for their season opener against the Chicago White Sox with Fletcher at bat and play second base.
Fletcher, who would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season, has agreed to a new deal that spans his years of officiating and his potential first two free agency seasons. The contract could be worth up to $ 41 million as it includes two club options worth $ 8 million in 2026 and $ 8.5 million in 2027.
“It’s exciting for me to know that I’m going to be playing at home for a while now,” said Fletcher. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Ideally, if it were up to me, I would play here my whole career, and I have a lot of work to do to get there, but I’m excited. ”
Fletcher is a former sixth-round pick who was born and raised in Orange County before playing Loyola Marymount. Once regarded as a major league prospect, he has relentlessly played his way to a starting second base and an important role in the Angels roster since his debut in 2018.
The deal is a sign of new Angels general manager Perry Minasian’s belief in Fletcher, who has only become the fifth player with a financial commitment from the team beyond the current season. Only Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Fletcher are signed beyond 2022.
“The guy is from the area, and that’s what we want to be,” Minasian said. “Before I took on this job, I watched a lot of videos, and obviously there are some big guys on this team, and the guy who stood out over and over again was Fletch. ”
Fletcher is a returning player in many ways – a high-volume contact hitter who doesn’t rely on homers, hardly ever hits, and plays stellar multi-position defense.
Fletcher is a career .292 hitter with 10 homers and 92 RBIs in his three big league seasons, frequently serving as the Angels first hitter in that streak. His 239 hits over the past two years is the AL’s highest seventh, and he led the Angels in hits and doubles last season while finishing third in the league with a .319 average. .
“I’m just trying to play the game the right way,” Fletcher said. “I like to think that I inspire some young kids to be okay by going out and playing hard and making the most of what you can do. … I don’t think I have been really overlooked. I just think people like different things. I just play the game, and maybe I don’t have as many tools as the other guys, and some of that stuff isn’t really measured, but it’s good to see myself rewarded for it. ”
Fletcher loves angels as much as they love him: he was born in Orange, Calif., Near Anaheim, and attended high school a few miles away in Cypress.
“I don’t take it for granted, playing at home,” Fletcher said. “It’s a big thing for me. I’m really lucky to be able to do that, and especially here with big fans and great people here. ”
As well as providing solid defense at second, shortstop or third base, Fletcher is also one of the toughest players to hit in recent history. His 9.67 home plate appearances per strikeout since 2018 is the second-most in the big leagues.
The Angels appreciate Fletcher’s defensive versatility as well as his offensive skills. Although the shortstop is his natural position, he can also play corner spots with three positions on the pitch.
“It was an intriguing part of it,” Minasian said. “He can do so many different things on the pitch. Having this player locked up for as long as we do is beneficial, and he’s the kind of guy who will play anywhere. … I bet if we asked him to put on (the catcher’s) equipment, he would. He’s the kind of guy he is. ”
Fletcher will earn $ 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.