The Los Angeles Angels acquired closer Huston Street in a trade with the San Diego Padres on Friday night. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the Angels have been in serious talks with the Padres for quite some time regarding the right-hander. Considering Los Angeles is in a close divisional race with the Oakland Athletics, what does the acquisition of Street mean for the AL West going forward this season?
For starters, the Athletics have to be somewhat worried. Even though they have made significant moves prior the trade deadline (Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel), are the most talented team in the American League and have a one-and-a-half-game lead in the division, the Angels bolstering their bullpen has instantly made them legitimate contenders down the stretch. Street may be just one man, but there is no denying that he’s having a career year and will have a tremendous impact on the entire team.
The bullpen has been by far the weakest link for Los Angeles this season. However, trades for Jason Grilli and Street should improve that quickly. In fact, since joining the Angels, Grilli has a 1.13 ERA and four holds in nine appearances. That alone has helped Los Angeles improve their ERA to 3.75, although it still ranks 21st in the majors.
Inject Street’s numbers into the mix and the bullpen should thrive. In 33 appearances this season, he is 1-0 with a 1.09 ERA, 34 strikeouts and 24 saves in 25 opportunities. More importantly, he has been dominating the closer role for quite some time. In his last 117 save chances, Street has recorded 109 saves. No closer in baseball can say they have better numbers than that over that span.
The Angels aren’t just getting a man who excels at his position. They are getting someone who desperately wants to win, especially since he has spent the last two and a half seasons with the Padres. The good news for him is that he will have every opportunity to do so as Los Angeles is serious about making a run for the division down the stretch.
Oakland may still be the class of the division and the league, but for them to underestimate what the Angels can accomplish in the second half of the season would be a serious mistake.
Los Angeles gave up minor leaguers R.J Alvarez, Taylor Lindsey, Elliot Morris and Jose Rondon for Street and prospect Trevor Gott.