Gio Urshela traded to Angels from Twins


ANAHEIM — The Angels have been seeking to improve their total depth this offseason, and so they did simply that on Friday, buying third baseman Gio Urshela from the Twins in trade for Minor League right-hander Alejandro Hidalgo.

Urshela, 31, offers the Angels a veteran third baseman who additionally has some expertise at shortstop and first base. He’s coming off a stable yr, batting .285/.338/.429 with 13 dwelling runs, 27 doubles and 64 RBIs in a career-high 144 video games with Minnesota final season. Basic supervisor Perry Minasian stated he sees Urshela as an everyman participant who can break up time between third base and first base, whereas additionally seeing occasional time at shortstop, second base or outfield.

Angels obtain: 3B Gio Urshela
Twins obtain: HR Alejandro Hidalgo

“You’ve got heard me say that loads this offseason, nevertheless it’s about depth and defending us at loads of completely different factors,” Minasian stated. “He’s an excellent participant. He can do many alternative issues. Clearly, his pure place is third base, however we really feel he can play first. He can take second place and may even fill within the quick. So simply the flexibility so as to add a participant of that caliber to our pool of in-house gamers that we presently have, we thought it was the appropriate transfer.”

The Angels have been hampered by a scarcity of high quality depth final yr as they struggled with accidents to 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon and outfielder Mike Trout. First baseman Jared Walsh additionally handled thoracic outlet syndrome all season, which restricted his output and led to season-ending surgical procedure in early September. Urshela can now transfer across the infield and fill that want, whereas additionally taking part in third when wanted for Rendon, who has a historical past of accidents since becoming a member of the membership in 2020.

Urshela, a local of Columbia, is getting into his closing yr of officiating and was not a candidate as a result of he’s anticipated to obtain a increase subsequent season. He earned $6.55 million final yr and is anticipated to earn greater than $9 million this season. But it surely’s one other indication that the Angels are set to get by this offseason after additionally signing lefty Tyler Anderson to a three-year, $39 million deal earlier this week.

Urshela can also be aware of supervisor Phil Nevin and hitting coaches Marcus Thames and Phil Plantier from his time with the Yankees in 2019-21. Minasian stated he has heard nothing however good issues from the teaching employees about Urshela, who can also be thought-about a stable presence on the membership’s headquarters.

“There’s historical past there,” Minasian stated. “When you might have a supervisor and a hitting coach with you, there’s an infinite degree of consolation while you’re on this chair. It had a big effect pulling the set off on this one.”

Urshela is thought for his above-average protection, however his addition additionally helps the Angels add some contact to their lineup. The membership led the Majors in strikeouts final yr, whereas Urshela made strides in that regard, chopping his strikeout price from 24.7 p.c to 17.4 p.c and hitting 81 p.c of his photographs. For context, the Angels have been shut out 25.7 p.c of their plate appearances, with a contact price of 75.1 p.c.

“One of many issues we talked about is that we lead the league in eliminations and we’re looking for extra contact,” stated Minasian. “It is a participant who has the flexibility to place the ball into play and produce and exhibits versatility.”

To make room for Urshela on the 40-man roster, left-hander Jhonathan Diaz was assigned the duty. Diaz, 26, has posted a 3.49 ERA in 28 1/3 innings over his final two seasons with the Angels.

Hidalgo, in the meantime, made 10 begins for the Single-A Inland Empire final yr, posting a 4.62 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 39 innings. The 19-year-old, who was ranked the Angels’ No. 22 prospect by MLB Pipeline, has a profession ERA of 4.64 over two seasons within the Minors with 89 strikeouts in 66 innings.

“It is at all times troublesome to commerce younger gamers, particularly a giant child with a superb arm and a vibrant future,” stated Minasian. “However on the finish of the day, you need to give to be able to obtain. I believe he’ll have an important profession and I hope this change works out for each side.”