Los Angeles Angels Roster Moves 12/8

LA Angels Roster Transactions | Inside The Diamonds

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Angels acquired first baseman Evan White and left-handed pitcher Tyler Thomas from the Atlanta Braves for infielder David Fletcher and catcher Max Stassi.

White, 27, has not appeared in a Major League game since 2021 with the Seattle Mariners and is hitting .165 with a .544 OPS in 84 career games, but won the 2020 American League Gold Glove for first base. Two hip surgeries have kept White from playing any more than 34 games in a season since 2021. White’s second hip surgery came this past May, but is expected to be ready for Spring Training, according to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times.

The former first-round pick was a part of the Jared Kelenic and Marco Gonzalez trade from the Mariners to the Braves just a few days ago. White has five years left on his six-year $24 million extension he signed with the Mariners in November of 2019 with club options after the 2026-2028 seasons. He will make $7 million in 2024.

Thomas, 27, has yet to make his Major League debut and has bounced around organizations, including the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, New York Mets, the Braves, and now the Angels. Similar to White, Thomas’ tenure as a Brave was short-lived as he was the Brave’s selection in the Rule 5 Draft this past week.

The southpaw reliever split 2023 with the AAA Syracuse Mets, AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and the Gastonia Honey Hunters in the Atlantic League for Independent Ball. Thomas finished the 2023 campaign with a 6.75 ERA in 12.0 innings pitched with Syracuse, a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched with Binghamton, and a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings with Gastonia. His strikeout-to-walk ratio for each level in 2023 was 1.38 with Syracuse, 6.00 with Binghamton, and 5.67 with Gastonia.

As for the pieces given up, Fletcher was often the odd man out with the Angels’ middle infield situation. Having Brandon Drury, Zach Neto, and Luis Rengifo ahead of Fletcher had him spending the majority of 2023 with the AAA Salt Lake City Bees. Fletcher hit .247 with a .628 OPS in 33 games in the majors and .330 with an .810 OPS in AAA. 

The 29-year-old had a successful run from 2018 to 2020 when he hit .292 with a .732 OPS and produced 7.6 bWAR in that span. Fletcher’s blue-collar style of play made him a fan favorite, but he has been unable to replicate the success he saw at the beginning of his career.

Soft contact and lack of line drives are the culprits for his lack of success. Fletcher’s career Barrel% sits at a measly 0.2%, whereas the MLB average is 6.9%, and it was 0.0% this year. His Line Drive% was over two percent less than the MLB average this year at 22.3%, while his Ground Ball% was over five percent more than the MLB average at 49.4%.

Stassi, 32, missed the entire 2023 season to be with his family due to the premature birth of his son. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Braves are looking to shop Stassi since they already have Sean Murphy and Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate. When on the field, Stassi is a solid defensive catcher who will not provide too much with the bat. 

Jack Janes

Journalism major at the University of La Verne. Played college baseball at Fullerton College and the University of La Verne. Also write for Inside The Rink.

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