Jerry Dipoto has been looking for a left-handed reliever for his bullpen for months and finally seems to have found his man:
Thatcher isn’t exactly a household name, but he has been one of the better LOOGYs in baseball the last three years. In 24 innings of work for Arizona this year, he has fanned 25 batters while walking just three all while limiting lefties to a .285 wOBA. For his career, lefties have a .274 wOBA and righties just .307, so he isn’t entirely useless if he has to pitch without the platoon advantage. He’ll immediately slot in to late inning work for the Halos, likely costing newly acquired Rich Hill his roster spot. He’s also just a rental.
The Angels also got outfielder Tony Campana in the deal… for some reason. The Halos have no shortage of outfielders in the majors and minors, so it is a bit odd that they had Campana thrown in here. My best guess is that Campana, who has 66 steals in 239 career games, is being picked up as a base-stealing specialist for when rosters expand in September, or maybe sooner.
Now, for who the Angels gave up. Outfielder Zach Borenstein is the big piece here that everyone will focus on. He put up huge numbers in High-A last season to be named the Angels Minor League Player of the Year (for whatever that is worth). This year though, he had middling numbers in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A where he fell on his face. There were already some who were skeptical of his ability to hit advanced pitching in addition to defensive questions, and this year has done nothing to change that. Still, he’s got big power and could be a player if he can manage to fix some of his flaws. For more on Borenstein, check out MWAH’s prospect profile from our pre-season prospect countdown where he ranked #15.
As for Joey Krehbiel, he’s a solid low minors relief prospect, but nobody the Halos figure to lose sleep over losing, even if he eventually makes it to the majors.
Oh, and, Billy Beane, how do you like this as a response to your little “Samardzija and Hammel” trade, huh? Yeah, me too. I know, it is kind of embarrassing.