Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has identified his bullpen as the team's biggest weakness as we near the stretch run, and he isn't wasting any time revamping it. On Friday, he added his latest piece, finalizing a deal with the San Diego Padres that brings All-Star closer Huston Street into the fold. The Angels will also receive Double-A right-hander Trevor Gott from San Diego. In the return, they'll send top prospect Taylor Lindsey, along with infielder Jose Rondon and right-hander pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Elliot Morris to San Diego.
ESPN Radio's Jim Bowden was the first to report a deal was near early Friday evening. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the deal will be announced following San DIego's game against the New York Mets on Friday night.
Street, 30, has always been one of the more overlooked and underrated closers around the league. He's not a menacing figure by any means, standing 6-feet even and weighing 195 pounds. He doesn't light up radar guns with a fastball in the high 90s, and he certainly doesn't make a show of himself on the hill. He's quietly consistent, though this season he's been quietly dominant, posting a 1.09 ERA with 24 saves in 25 opportunities.
Street's arrivial should give manager Mike Scioscia the option he's been looking for to solidify the ninth inning. And based on Street's words to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, he's ready for the challenge and ready to move up the standings.
"I want to win this year," Street said. "When you've got the Dodgers and Giants in your division — barring a 20-game winning streak — it would obviously be tough to win this year."
Street also looked forward to the possibility of playing for Scioscia.
"I was probably too young to realize how good he was at the time," Street said of Scioscia. "That's one of the best managers, maybe, of all time. If I went there, I'd have a real chance to win."
Understandably, the thought of possibly playing alongside Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton was also mentioned. That is far more appealing than playing against them, which could have been a regular occurrence had another AL contender landed his services.
Also working in Street's favor: He gets to stay close to San Diego, which is just a couple hours down the road from Anaheim. And he will be reunited with catcher Chris Iannetta, who he played with during his time with the Colorado Rockies. The familiarity should make the transition a little easier.
It's a winning scenario for Street, and the Angels hope they end up feeling the same way as they chase after the Oakland A's in the AL West.
The A's recently made a big splash in acquiring starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs, which flashed as a "game on" sign for the Angels.
The Angels also recently traded Ernesto Frieri, who served as their closer from the midway point in 2012 through early 2014, to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for struggling former closer Jason Grilli. But all along they've had their eye on Street, whom they reportedly preferred as a closer option to Jonathan Papelbon.
Street should immediately take over the closer's role with Joe Smith shifting to setup man. The Angels are still working out the role for Grilli.
As for San Diego's return, the key piece will be Taylor Lindsay, who's a 22-year-old middle infielder with notable power. He had 45 extra-base hits in the Double-A Texas League last season, including 17 home runs. Through 75 games at Triple-A Salt Lake, he has 29 extra-base hits with eight homers. He's most often described as an offense-first player who is adequate defensively.
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