The Los Angeles Angels have acquired All-Star closer Huston Street from the San Diego Padres in a deal that was first reported by ESPN.com's Jim Bowden. In exchange, the Padres will receive four prospects in second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon, and right-handers RJ Alvarez and Elliot Morris. Also going to the Angels is minor league right-hander Trevor Gott.
The 30-year-old Street has been linked to the Angels quite a bit in recent weeks, as Los Angeles has been open about their search for a back-end reliever. Street is in the midst of a career-year, owning a 1.09 ERA, 319 ERA+, 2.90 FIP, 4.86 K/BB, and 1.6 WAR in 33 innings pitched. Part of Street's considerable trade value is that he carries a $7 million club option for 2015, so the Angels will be acquiring 1.5 years of control rather than just a half-season rental.
Street isn't the first bullpen addition the Angels have made this summer. Late last month, the Angels and Pirates swapped struggling closers, as Los Angeles sent Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh in exchange for Jason Grilli. The Angels also acquired Joe Thatcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month.
Street will likely slot in as the Angels' closer, pushing Joe Smith back into a set-up role, and giving the Angels the relief depth they've lacked all season.
Despite a 57-37 record and being just two games back in the AL West, the Angels' bullpen has been rather dismal this season. The staff's 3.89 ERA is just the 24th best mark in baseball, and their 3.95 FIP is 25th. The Angels have been connected to numerous closers - such as Jonathan Papelbon and Joakim Soria - in recent days, though they were generally all seen as secondary targets to Street.
The Padres seem to have gotten quite a haul, nabbing three prospects (Lindsey, Rondon, and Alvarez) off Baseball Prospectus' Angels top 10 list from earlier this year, as well as a fourth (Morris) who has shown considerable potential this season.
Lindsey, a 2010 first round pick, entered the year regarded by many to be the Angels' top prospect. He even clocked in at number 93 overall on Baseball America' preseason top 100 list. The 22-year-old Lindsey is known for his plus hit tool, which has enabled him to hit .289/.340/.445 in the minor leagues, though he has struggled this season, batting just .248/.323/.399 in 343 plate appearances that have come mostly at the Triple-A level. Adding Lindsey also makes sense for San Diego if they plan on dealing third baseman Chase Headley or letting him walk as a free agent following the season. With Headley gone, San Diego could choose to move current second baseman Jedd Gyorko over to third (the position he came up at as a minor leaguer), allowing Lindsey to take over the major league second base job full-time.
While Lindsey has gotten more national attention, Rondon may in fact be the most talented name headed to the Padres in this deal. The 20-year-old Venezuelan shortstop has had a breakout season at High-A, hitting .327/.362/.418 in 324 plate appearances. His inclusion alone may make this an overpay for the Angels, with ESPN's prospect expert Keith Law tweeting that he wouldn't have done Rondon straight up for Street.
Alvarez, who owns a blistering fastball that works in the mid-90's, profiles as a reliever, but possesses closer potential, and is essentially big league ready. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 0.33 ERA, 12.7 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 27 innings for Double-A Arkansas this season.
Morris may be the least-heralded of the prospects heading San Diego's way, but he isn't nothing. The 22-year-old right-hander was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 draft by the Angels, and has already reached High-A. In 85.1 innings split between Low and High-A this season, Morris has a 3.27 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and 4.3 BB/9. When all is said and done, he may find himself at the back of somebody's big league rotation.
As for the other player the Angels will receive from San Diego, Gott was a 6th round pick in last year's draft and reached the Double-A level after just 67 pro innings. Gott has a 3.56 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 3.8 BB/9 in 43 innings pitching out of Lake Elsinore and San Antonio's bullpens this season. Entering the season, Baseball America did not rank Gott among the Padres' 30 best prospects.