Los Angeles Angels Trade for Gio Urshela

Los Angeles Angels Trade for Gio Urshela
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The Los Angeles Angels have been busy early in the offseason. On Friday, the team acquired third baseman Gio Urshela from the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are getting minor-league pitcher Alejandro Hidalgo back from the Angels.

The trade will mark Urshela’s third team in three seasons. Last offseason, he was acquired by the Twins along with Gary Sanchez in the trade of Josh Donaldson. In 2022, Urshela hit .285/.338/.429 in 144 games. 2022 marked a career-high in hits (143), at-bats (501), walks (41), and triples (3). In addition, his totals in runs, doubles, and RBIs were his highest ever since his breakout season in 2019 with the New York Yankees.

The Angels’ Infield Struggles

Last season, the Angels struggled with offense on the left side of the infield. After signing a seven-year, $245 million contract in 2020, Anthony Rendon has not been able to stay healthy. Over the first three seasons with the ballclub, Rendon has only played 157 games in total. Andrew Velazquez started 100 games at shortstop last season. And while he provided great defense (1.8 Defensive Wins Above Replacement) and speed (17 stolen bases in 18 attempts), his batting was often poor. He batted below the Mendoza line (.196) and struggled with getting on base, with a .236 on-base percentage.

It is currently unclear which position Gio Urshela will take over in Anaheim. When healthy, Rendon will likely remain at third base. Urshela has started 33 games at shortstop during his career, but it is not his natural position. But at the very least, he serves as an upgrade to the offensive core around Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.

This is the second transaction that the Angels have made this week. On Wednesday, the team signed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson to a three-year, $39 million contract after a career year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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