The Los Angeles Angels have acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Baltimore Orioles, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Iglesias had a career year at the plate in 2020, with a .373 batting average that was 70 points higher than his previous career-high. Overall, he hit .373/.400/.556 with a 160 OPS+ during the abbreviated season. So, the need for a quality shortstop appears to be filled for next season. However, Iglesias will be a free agent after the 2021 season.
The Angels sent two minor league pitchers to Baltimore to complete the deal. The first, Garrett Stallings, was ranked #21 in the Angels farm system. Drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the 23-year-old Stallings has yet to take the mound in the minor leagues. The other right-hander, 20-year-old Jean Pinto, was signed out of Venezuela in May of 2019. He pitched for the Angels Dominican Summer League team in 2019.
Iglesias went into the 2020 season with a career .273/.315/.371 line, an 84 OPS+ and the reputation as a very good defensive shortstop. And, despite how he performed in 2020, that’s what the Angels should expect from him. Although his defense wasn’t up to his normal standards, that could be from the small sample size of 39 games. The flip side of that is knowing he isn’t that good of a hitter. Yet, regression on both sides of the ball seems likely. Since the start of 2013, Iglesias has averaged 2.5 fWAR for every 150 games played. If Jose Iglesias is good for that in 2021, he’s more than worth his $3.5 million salary.
New GM Perry Minasian’s decision to trade for Jose Iglesias might indicate the Angels are looking to spend elsewhere this offseason. Specifically, pitching. Or, possibly catching depth. As mentioned in an earlier piece, the Angels have quite a few different avenues to improve the club. One smaller bit of news for the Angels is the non-tender of relief pitcher Keynan Middleton, making him a free agent.
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