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Angels acquire Huston Street, continue curious personnel decisions

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The immediate reaction from most Los Angeles fans regarding the Huston Street trade has been, in a word, miffed. It's not so much angry, nor is it particularly surprised, but a general gut reaction of disgust and consternation.

And it is well-deserved. The Angels acquired Street by pawning three of their top ten prospects, in addition to what is rather backhandedly referred to as a "live arm", for a season and a half of a closer from the National League. In total, they may get ninety innings out of Street over the next season and a half, and no matter how you slice it, it's hard to see the value in trading twenty-eight potential seasons of team control for a season and a half of a fungible commodity whose main value is derived from the accumulation of a rather dubious statistic.

There will be some who defend the trade, as the Angels are in a position to reach the post-season for the first time since 2009. They may even point out the fact that the Angels farm system is not particularly strong, as evidenced by the fact that, despite giving up four players, only one of them (Taylor Lindsey) was listed in Baseball America's preseason Top 100 list, and he's hitting .247/.323/.400 with a wRC+ of 88 in his first season at AAA.

But you don't make a lean farm system better by trimming what little fat there is to be had, and though Los Angeles is a better team now than it was prior to the All-Star break, it is decidedly worse off for the 2016 season and beyond, regardless of the inherent quality of the pieces being given up.

No, the Angels did not trade away a Taijuan Walker or an Oscar Taveras, or even a Sean Manaea. But they did give up four players for two; one of whom is a relief pitcher in AA walking nearly seven batters a game, and the other is Huston Street, whose FIP (2.90) is a full run worse than his ERA (1.90), is moving to a more hitter-friendly environment, in a tougher division that has those pesky designated hitters, and he'll be pitching in front of a worse defense. Everything about this screams regression.

In terms of the Albert Pujols sliding scale of bad personnel decisions, trading four players for Street might not even register. But make no mistake, it's a bad trade. Even if Street continues being the pitcher he has been thus far, it's a bad trade. Kudos to San Diego for getting the most out of the deal. For Los Angeles, it's business as usual.