Angels sign Dontrelle Willis to a minor-league contract.

The Angels have signed left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis, a 9-year major league veteran, to a minor-league contract. He will report to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Willis, 31, was pitching for the independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. He had a 2.56 earned-run average, with a 5-4 record and 52 strikeouts in 87 ⅔ innings, and started the Atlantic League All-Star game.

The signing was first reported by Newsday.

Willis hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2011, when he went 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts for the Cincinnati Reds. He split the 2011 season between Cincinnati and Triple-A Louisville, and became a free agent at the end of the season. His transactions log since reads like a set of Bob Dylan lyrics.

He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2011 but was released March 16 the following year, in the middle of spring training. Four days later he showed up in Baltimore and was assigned to the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate after recovering from a sore forearm. Willis made just four appearances in Triple-A, going 0-3 with an 8.53 earned-run average, before announcing his retirement in July.

But in January he signed with the Chicago Cubs only to be released March 30, having made one start in spring training and leaving with a stiff left shoulder. He signed with the Long Island Ducks in April.

Willis won the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year award with the Florida Marlins. He’s also pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Reds in his major-league career, combining for a 72-69 record and a 4.17 ERA with 896 strikeouts in 205 games (202 starts).

Willis was originally drafted by the Cubs in the eighth round of the 2000 amateur draft.

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Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus dishes on brother Cory, the Angels’ newest prospect.

Colby Rasmus

Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus batted against his brother in a major-league game for the first time in May and hit a double. (Getty Images)

New Angels pitcher Cory Rasmus, acquired Monday in the Scott Downs trade with Atlanta, has an advance scout in the visitor’s clubhouse this weekend. A really-far-out-in-advance scout.

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus is older than Cory by about 15 months. Cory isn’t with the Angels yet — he’s at Triple-A Salt Lake — but Colby has decent idea of what Angels fans can expect from his younger brother once he arrives.

“We played together from the time we was little bitty,” Colby Rasmus said.
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Salt Lake shuffle: Ryan Madson, Luis Jimenez, Kole Calhoun, Barry Enright in; Bill Hall out.

If you’ve flown between John Wayne airport and Salt Lake City at any point this season, your odds of bumping into an Angels player are pretty high. The Angels have been busy burning a path from Anaheim to their Triple-A affiliate, having used 36 batters and 20 pitchers this season — both tied for second in the league.

Sunday might have been the busiest day of them all.
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Angels option David Carpenter to Triple-A Salt Lake.

The Angels optioned right-hander David Carpenter to Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday after losing 11-3 to the Texas Rangers.

Making his first appearance of the season, Carpenter was charged with four of the nine runs the Rangers scored in the fourth inning. He retired one of the five batters he faced and left with an ERA of 108 (four earned runs in one-third of an inning).

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that the team will recall a pitcher tomorrow to take Carpenter’s spot on the 25-man roster. Wednesday’s starter Michael Roth and Jerome Williams, who threw three scoreless relief innings, will both be unavailable out of the bullpen when the Angels visit the Seattle Mariners.

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Angels agree to terms with Brad Hawpe on minor-league deal.

Brad Hawpe

Brad Hawpe averaged 25 home runs a season from 2006-09 with the Colorado Rockies. (Associated Press photo)

Kole Calhoun almost made the Angels as a fourth/fifth outfielder out of spring training. He didn’t, was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake, and suffered a freak injury in the Bees’ first game of the season: Calhoun broke the hamate bone in his right hand swinging a bat in his fourth plate appearance of the game.

Calhoun had surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss at least a month.

On Wednesday, the Angels announced they’ve agreed to terms with veteran major league outfielder Brad Hawpe on a minor-league contract. He’ll report to extended spring training at first, but figures to absorb some of Kalhoun’s innings in Salt Lake soon.

Hawpe, 33, last appeared in the majors with the San Diego Padres in 2011. He was limited to just 62 games that year because of a strained finger and and elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John surgery in August.

Last year Hawpe batted .260/.382/.382 for Double-A Frisco of the Texas League and played exclusively in right field after shifting in at first base with the Padres.

In his prime, Hawpe averaged 25 home runs and 93 RBIs a season from 2006-09 with the Colorado Rockies.

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