The Angels have parted ways with starting pitcher Hector Santiago and relief pitcher Joe Smith on the final day of trades in the 2016 MLB season.
Hector Santiago is off to Minnesota along with relief pitcher Alan Busenitz. The Twins will send two starting pitchers to the Halos: Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer.
Hector Santiago (10-4, 4.25 ERA) should step in as the Twins’ #2 starter behind another former Angel, Ervin Santana. Alan Busenitz owned a 0-2 record and a 3.55 ERA out of the bullpen in 45.2 innings pitched for the Angels AAA affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees.
Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.13 ERA) will join a depleted Angels pitching staff. It is of note that he went 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA for the Dodgers in 2013, so a change of scenery back to Southern California could help get Nolasco back on track. In 17.1 innings this year for the Twins AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, Alex Meyer owns a 1.04 ERA. However, in a brief stint in the MLB with the Twins in 2016, Meyer has a 12.27 ERA in 3.2 innings.
Joe Smith will join a Cubs bullpen to form a dominate 7th, 8th, 9th inning combination with Hector Rondon and recently acquired Aroldis Chapman. It is interesting to note that Smith and Chapman are both slated to be free agents after this season.
Joe Smith is 1-4 with a 3.82 ERA in a down season. Smith, a submarine pitcher, owns a career 2.94 ERA and has typically been one of the better set up men in the game. He will join a revamped Cubs bullpen that already includes Aroldis Chapman, Hector Rondon, Mike Montgomery, and Joe Nathan. The Angels are getting Jesus Castillo, a 20 year-old starter that was currently pitching for the Cubs A affiliate, the Eugene Emeralds. He had a 2-3 record and a 3.27 ERA through 7 starts with the Emeralds.
The Angels’ moves are more geared towards long-term success, however, next year’s team could be a contender. The Angels’ top of the order in Yunel Escobar, Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols is among the best in the MLB. Next year Garrett Richards should be back, and Skaggs will be good to go for a whole season. Tim Lincecum might also have his kinks worked out by then. 2017 looks optimistic for the Angels.