If you define depth as having a number of options at a position, then yes, the Angels have plenty of "depth" at first base, a spot they've scrambled to fill since Kendry Morales suffered a season-ending leg injury May 29.
Catcher Mike Napoli, outfielder Michael Ryan and Robb Quinlan shared first base duties in the first 15 games since Morales went down, and utility infielder Kevin Frandsen made his first big league start there Monday night.
Catcher Bobby Wilson can play first, second baseman Howie Kendrick can play there in a pinch and infielder Brandon Wood, on a rehabilitation assignment at triple-A Salt Lake, can play there.
The question is whether the Angels have quality depth at the position.
The Angels won 12 of their first 15 games since Morales was injured, but their first baseman combined to hit .230 (14 for 61) with no home runs, five doubles and four runs batted in in those games.
The powerful but streaky-hitting Napoli appears to be the Angels' only viable long-term option at first, leading to speculation the team has little leverage in trade talks for a potential first baseman.
The Angels will have to eat the entire contract of a high-priced player such as Houston's Lance Berkman ($14.5 million this season) or the Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko ($12 million), or fork over more in talent than would be required closer to the July 31 trade deadline.
Not necessarily, Manager Mike Scioscia said.
"I don't consider us to be over a barrel," Scioscia said. "If there's something that makes sense, [General Manager] Tony [Reagins] will act on it and act quickly. But I think we have a little more depth than people perceive. Hopefully, we can keep moving forward."
The Angels have agreed to terms with about 20 picks from last week's amateur draft, including Desert Mountain (Ariz.) High shortstop Taylor Lindsey, the 37th overall pick, and Madison (Wis.) Central High center fielder Ryan Bolden, the 40th overall pick, Reagins said.
Lindsey and Bolden are believed to have received bonuses in the $800,000 range. The Angels also agreed to terms with third-round pick Wendell Soto, a shortstop form Riverview High in Sarasota, Fla.
Reagins said the Angels "haven't got into negotiations yet" with top pick Caleb Cowart, a high school third baseman from Georgia who was the 18th overall selection. Cowart, who is believed to be seeking a bonus in the $3-million range, has signed a letter of intent with Florida State.
The Angels have until Aug. 16 to sign their picks.
Catcher Jeff Mathis, who sat out three games at Salt Lake over the weekend after taking a pitch off his right thumb Thursday night, resumed his rehab assignment Monday night and doubled and tripled in his first two at-bats.
Scioscia said Mathis would play at least two more games for Salt Lake and, barring further setback, would probably be activated for this weekend's series against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field.
Frandsen, a middle infielder by trade, made all 13 of his previous starts for the Angels this season at third base, but he did not hesitate volunteering to play first after Morales was injured.
"I'm not scared to do anything," said Frandsen, who hit a two-run double in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. "I want to be an asset to the team, and you do that by playing more positions."
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