The Angels have acquired right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland from the Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin first reported the deal, which was confirmed by the Angels:
Today the #Angels acquired RHP Hunter Strickland from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) May 15, 2021
While he does seem to have a less-than-stellar reputation around baseball due to his erratic personality on and off the mound, it’s somewhat surprising to see Strickland moved by a competitive team for such a minimal return. Granted, that team is the Rays, who might as well have a 3D printer that develops elite relievers, but still, Strickland was off to a very strong start this season, posting a 1.69 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP, 16 strikeouts, and six walks in 16 innings. He’s flashed an mid-90s fastball and an effective slider this season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his success continue if his stuff stays strong.
The Angels surprisingly lost Ty Buttrey when he retired before the season, currently have Junior Guerra on the injured list, and have not gotten the same dominant level of success they did from Mike Mayers in 2020, so they could use a veteran right-handed option in the bullpen. Their relief corps have combined for a 5.32 ERA, fourth-worst in the majors this season.