Orioles trade Iglesias to Angels for 2 minor-league pitchers
Timothy T Ludwig / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Los Angeles Angels acquired slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor-league right-handers Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings, the Orioles announced Wednesday.

Baltimore exercised Iglesias' $3.5-million option last month. He first joined the team last winter on a $3-million contract.

The 30-year-old just completed his best career offensive season, albeit in a pandemic-shortened campaign. Iglesias, who's primarily known for his defense, hit .373/.400/.556 with three home runs and 24 RBIs over 39 games split almost evenly between shortstop and designated hitter.

Though a weak hitter overall - Iglesias owns a career 88 OPS+ and has hit over 10 homers in a season just once - he's one of the better defenders at his position. The Cuban has compiled 80.1 defensive WAR since debuting in 2011, ranking fifth among shortstops over that span. Meanwhile, his 46.8 ultimate zone rating ranks fourth. In 2020 Iglesias' numbers dipped slightly, but he committed just one error over 168 innings.

In Anaheim, he'll replace longtime Halos shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who's now a free agent. Iglesias will form a double-play combination with second baseman David Fletcher, who's coming off a breakout season.

"The organization views (Fletcher) as a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman, and putting a player of Iglesias' caliber on that side of the field will make our pitching better," Angels general manager Perry Minasian said, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. "We feel like we've added an impact defender. That's a pretty good middle infield combination that we're excited to watch."

Stallings was ranked as the Angels' No. 21 prospect by MLB.com. Los Angeles selected him out of Tennessee in the fifth round in 2019, and he's yet to pitch in affiliated baseball.

Pinto made his professional debut with the Angels' Dominican Summer League affiliate in 2019. The 19-year-old Venezuelan went 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 19 strikeouts in three DSL starts and hasn't pitched for any affiliated clubs in the United States.

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Orioles trade Iglesias to Angels for 2 minor-league pitchers
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