It is no secret that the Angels’ problems lie in their pitching. They have given up 220 runs in the season and which is enough to put them at second-most runs allowed. The Angels are also the owner of a -47 run differential which is also second-worst in the entire league. Raisel Iglesias was their big acquisition of the off season but he has been rather disappointing. He hasn’t been terrible but he hasn’t been good either.
Hunter Strickland acquired by Angels
In an effort to help with the bullpen, the Angels acquired Hunter Strickland from the Tampa Bay Rays. The deal comes in exchange for cash and a player to be named later. His career ERA sits at an impressive 3.13 in 299 games. This year, he’s managed to maintain a 1.69 ERA in 13 games after having a rough 2019 and 2020. Hunter Strickland should expect a lot of work in with the Angels since starting pitching is not their strong suit.
The Angels will hope that Strickland can keep up his hot start to the 2021 season. Although, Strickland would sure love it to see the Angels trade for some starting pitching to lessen the work load for the bullpen. One might be thinking that it is rather odd that the Rays traded Strickland away since he was solid this year and the Rays are in the thick of it when it comes to claiming a playoff spot.
Weird situation allowed Rays to trade Strickland
The Tampa Bay Rays actually have plenty of reinforcements in their pitching arsenal so letting go of a reliever was not going to affect their day-to-day too much. Strickland becomes a free agent at the end of this year so makes since that they wanted to cash out. He was also signed to a minor league contract so the Rays are actually expected to make a profit.
Usually I would say that time will tell if this was a good deal for the Angels and Rays but the Angels’ pitching staff can’t possibly get any worse and the Rays got some money from someone they were likely to lose at the end of the year. So it looks like a great deal for both.
The Angels have just come off a tough road trip where they went 2-4 as they visited Houston and Boston. They barely avoided going 1-5 and a sweep in Boston after some late inning heroics by Shohei Ohtani.