The Los Angeles Angels have acquired RHP Hunter Strickland from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
The Angels needed a bullpen upgrade. Their bullpen has thrown the fifth-most innings in the league, and at 5.32, they have the fourth-worst ERA. Strickland will be a big boost. He has closing experience, and has looked great after making the Rays on a minor league deal. His 2.94 xERA suggests that he has been lucky, but that is still very good. Strickland also has allowed a .212 xBA and a .335 xSLG. Walks have been an issue for him, but since 2019 he has been able to keep his walk rate under ten percent.
Strickland, 32, has a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts, a 1.250 WHIP, and a 3.04 FIP in 16 innings for the Rays this year. In his MLB career for the Rays, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, and New York Mets Strickland has a 3.14 ERA with 249 strikeouts, a 1.209 WHIP, 21 saves, and a 3.62 FIP in 269.2 innings.
The Rays did not believe that they would need Strickland, but injuries made them put him on the roster. The return of Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo, plus the emergence of Luis Patino and Josh Fleming had made Strickland expendable. He has no more options left, and there was a good chance the Rays were about to designate him for assignment anyways.