Currently sitting 1.5 games behind the AL West-leading Oakland A's and looking for some bullpen stability, the Los Angeles Angels (58-37) made a major move toward upgrading its relief corps, as the team acquired standout righty closer Huston Street and right-handed pitching prospect Trevor Gott from the San Diego Padres, in exchange for minor leaguers infielder Taylor Lindsey, pitcher R.J. Alvarez, infielder Jose Rondon, and pitcher Elliot Morris. The deal was announced by Angels GM Jerry Dipoto.
The Angels entered the season expecting Ernesto Frieri to be the team's closer, but Frieri struggled and was later dealt to the Pirates.
Street, 30, has appeared in 33 games this season with San Diego, producing a 1-0 record with 24 saves and a 1.09 ERA (33 IP – 4 ER). Among league leaders, he ranks fourth in the Majors in ERA by relievers (min. 30 IP) and seventh in saves. He has converted 24 of 25 save opportunities, tying him for the best conversion rate in the Majors at 96% (min. 5 save opportunities).
Street also owns the fifth-best WHIP among relievers (0.758) and has held opponents to a .158 (18/114) batting average against (.131 vs. right-handed hitters). Earlier this month, he was named an All-Star for the second time in his career (also 2012).
In 10 Major League seasons with Oakland (2005-08), Colorado (2009-11), and San Diego (2012-14), he has compiled a career record of 35-27 with 258 saves and a 2.87 ERA (565 IP – 180 ER). Since 2011, he has converted 109 of his last 117 save opportunities for a 93.2% save percentage, which is the best mark among all relievers in that span (min. 50 SVO). His 258 saves rank fifth among actives and 31st all-time.
The trade not only fills a need for LA, but also will allow the Angels to keep up with Oakland in the division race, as the A's themselves recently acquired two starting pitchers from the Cubs in Jason Hammel and All-Star Jeff Samardzija.
Gott, 21, has split the 2014 campaign with Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. In 39 combined relief outings, the 5’10”, 190-pound right-hander has gone 2-4 with 16 saves and a 3.56 ERA (43 IP – 17 ER). He was named a mid-season California League All-Star. His career minor league totals are 4-6 with 20 saves and a 3.08 ERA (79 IP – 27 ER) in 70 relief outings (33 BB, 83 K).
Lindsey, 22, was originally selected by the Halos in the first round (37th overall) of the 2010 amateur draft out of Desert Mountain High School (AZ). In four-plus minor league campaigns, he has compiled a .289 clip (532/1842) with 288 runs, 102 doubles, 28 triples, 43 home runs and 209 RBI.
Alvarez, 23, was drafted by the Angels in the third round of the 2012 amateur draft out of Florida Atlantic University. In two-plus minor league seasons, the right-handed reliever has a 7-4 mark with five saves, a 2.36 ERA (103 IP – 27 ER) with 48 walks and 155 strikeouts (81 games, 2 starts).
Rondon, 20, was signed as an international free agent on January 13, 2011. The Venezuelan infielder has appeared in 245 minor league games batting .300 (287/958), with 146 runs, 64 doubles, 12 triples, 2 home runs and 116 RBI.
Morris, 22, was selected by the Halos in the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Pierce College (WA). He has appeared in 28 games (18 starts) in the Angels system going 7-6 with a 3.43 ERA (112.2 IP – 43 ER).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services