The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim agreed to a six-player deal Friday that sends All-Star closer Huston Street and RHP Trevor Gott to Anaheim in exchange for 2B Taylor Lindsey, RHP R.J. Alvarez, SS Jose Rondon and RHP Elliot Morris.
The Angels were in desperate need of a bona fide closer following the struggles of former closer Ernesto Frieri, whose ERA jumped to 6.39 before being dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Street is exactly what the doctor ordered in Anaheim. The two-time All-Star has saved 24 games in 25 chances, while posting a remarkable 1.09 ERA.
Street will be thoroughly missed in San Diego. However, at age 30 and with just a year and a half of team control remaining, Street had to go. After a 71 win season in 2011, and consecutive 76 win seasons in the years following, it’s about time the Padres begin flipping valuable assets in pursuit of stockpiling young talent.
The Padres took advantage of the Angels’ desperation to contend now, as they managed to acquire three of the top prospects in the Anaheim organization. Although the Angels have a relatively weak farm system, Rondon, Alvarez and Lindsey provide tremendous value considering what the Padres gave up.
Rondon, 20, likely has the highest ceiling among this haul of young prospects. The Venezuelan born shortstop has hit .300 over the course of four seasons in Anaheim’s minor league system. Rondon has proven himself as a pure hitter, but with just two HRs in four seasons, his power has yet to develop. The futures game participant has put together a productive 2014 campaign, hitting .327/.363/.418 in 72 contests for Inland Empire.
Alvarez, 23, should be a significant young arm in the San Diego bullpen for years to come. Through three seasons in the Angels’ organization, Alvarez has posted a 2.36 ERA, including a 0.33 ERA and a 0.852 WHIP in 27 innings pitched thus far in double-A Arkansas.
Lindsey, a former first round pick of Anaheim in 2010, has hit .289/.340/.445 since joining the organization in 2010. Through his first 75 games for triple-A Salt Lake, the 22-year-old Lindsey has hit .247/.323/.400. For a second baseman, Lindsey brings good power to the table, hitting 43 HRs in five seasons. Look for Lindsey to spend a year or two with the El Paso Chihuahuas before calling PETCO Park home.
The haul the Padres received for Huston Street is an excellent start to a difficult rebuilding process ahead; we will see if it continues as San Diego looks to shop other assets like Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit.