The Los Angeles Angels are looking to shore up their bullpen, and a possible move to acquire a reliever could be in the cards.
This season the Angels have had their issues at closer with Ernesto Frieri, who has 5.64 ERA in 33 appearances. This includes a shaky month of June, where he has a 9.82 ERA and 13 runs allowed in just 7.1 innings pitched over nine games played. His continued struggles now have Los Angeles considering a possible move to strengthen their bullpen, and there are several options available in the trade market. One player who could make a tremendous impact for the Halos is San Diego Padres closer Huston Street.
Street is in the midst of an impressive season as he has an eye-popping 0.96 ERA and is 20-for-20 in save opportunities for the Padres. His reliability at the position is what the Angels need in order to not only remain in the hunt for their first AL West division title but also get their first playoff berth since 2009. The nine-year veteran’s addition to Los Angeles’ bullpen would provide some stability that Frieri has not provided the team and they quite frankly have not had since the days of Francisco Rodriguez.
The move would be beneficial in many different ways for the Angels as it would allow them to place Frieri in a role as a late-innings reliever, which is a position he appears to be much more comfortable in. When he first arrived to Los Angeles during the 2012 season, the right-hander was outstanding in that role as he did not allow a hit in his first 13 appearances and even more impressively did not give a up run until his 27th game played. This is not suggesting he may play at that high of level, but he certainly has the capability to be a solid relief pitcher moving forward.
Along with Frieri, the acquisition would give Joe Smith a set role as the team’s setup man. The 30-year-old has bounced around from both roles as a closer and setup man due to the lack of consistency from Frieri. If they are able to add Street, this would give Smith a chance to settle in at the position he has excelled at for the last three seasons as evident by his sub-3.00 ERA in each year prior to 2014.
If the Angels are serious about making a run at a division title and a playoff spot this season, the addition of Street would definitely be a step in the right direction in solidifying their bullpen for the long haul.