Moran, originally plucked from the Mariners organization, posted a 3.45 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and a 4.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 62 2/3 innings for Triple-A Tacoma last season.
Originally taken in the seventh round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of North Carolina -- going to school with Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager and Angels pitching prospect Mike Morin -- the 25-year-old Moran is the brother of Marlins third-base prospect Colin Moran and the nephew of former All-Star B.J. Surhoff.
Moran has a 3.06 ERA in his five-year Minor League career and, as general manager Jerry Dipoto said, "He's annihilated left-handed hitters in Triple-A." In the Pacific Coast League last year, opposing lefties posted a .235/.272/.322 slash line against him.
"He's got a history of missing bats, particularly with left-handed hitters," Dipoto said. "Not an overpowering guy. It's more in the mid- to upper-80s velocity, with tremendous angle, high-end deception; got a good breaking ball that he can throw for a strike and miss a bat with. I guess from a scouting perspective, he makes up a lot of ground on his way to home plate. He's about 6-3, but he strides as if he were 6-8, and the fastball tends to play firmer than it looks on the gun."
Teams pay $50,000 to make a Rule 5 selection, but if the player is not on the active roster at any point in the season -- unless it's a rehab assignment -- he must be offered back to his original club for $25,000.
The Angels haven't made a selection in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft each of the last two years, but they see Moran as someone who may stick in their bullpen, along with Sean Burnett and the recently-acquired Hector Santiago, who will also be considered for a rotation spot.
The Angels also previously signed lefty specialist Clay Rapada to a Minor League contract.
The presence of Prince Fielder (Rangers) and Robinson Cano (Mariners) in the American League West has made it that much more important for them to deploy lefties in their pitching staff.
"Depending on how things shake out with the rest of our staff, it can be Burnett, Santiago and Moran," Dipoto said. "It can also be that we opt to keep Hector in the starting rotation and Moran gives us depth in that regard."
The Angels took 21-year-old right-handed reliever Jose Valdivia, who had a 2.23 ERA in 20 appearances for the Mariners' low Class A affiliate this past season, in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.