As the Yankees continue to bolster their bullpen by signing Adam Ottavino, the Angels make a low impact trade with the addition of reliever John Curtiss.
While the Yankees have Ottavino, Zach Britton (also signed this off season), Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, and a promising and upcoming Jonathan Holder, Eppler continues to put on his blindfold and throw darts in hopes of hitting the bullpen bull’s-eye.
The Angels traded minor league 18-year old Dominican infielder Daniel Ozoria, who has struggled at Rookie Level ball with a .222/.293/.263 slash line in 468 plate appearances. Normally, this would seem like a steal for the Halos since it doesn’t seem like Ozoria will pan out, but if the Angels are trying to convince Mike Trout from leaving Anaheim, this isn’t a deal that would sway him to stay in an Angels uniform for a long time.
To add some irony to this situation, once the Twins designated Curtiss for assignment, they signed former Angels closer Blake Parker to take his spot. In some ways, you can say that the Angels traded Ozoria and Parker for Curtiss. If Angels fans think of it that way, then the acquisition of John Curtiss seems even less enticing.
But let’s take a took at John Curtiss anyway. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Curtiss was a sixth-round pick by the Twins back in 2014 and was considered one of the organization’s more promising relief prospects for much of the past few seasons. However, he’s had limited success in the majors despite only a small sample size to evaluate him so far. Through 15 MLB frames, Curtiss has a 7.20 ERA, but a more promising 17-to-6 K/BB ratio. Curtiss’ velocity dipped a bit in 2018, and he’s also posted an alarmingly low 18.6 percent ground-ball rate in the big leagues. In spite of that, he’s previously posted considerably higher marks in the minors. The one positive thing fans should consider is that Curtiss has had a career ERA of 2.49 at the Triple-A level, so it’s not as if this guy doesn’t have potential. He could be a pleasant surprise in the way that Blake Parker was two years ago. The Angels hope that his minor league success can carry over into the big leagues.
As far as the Twins are concerned, they now have Blake Parker, who was 2-1 last season with a 3.26 ERA. He had 14 saves with the Angels last season and has a career WAR of 3.2 (although it was only 1.0 last season). What led the Angels to letting him go was that Parker was prone to giving up the long ball, as he gave up 12 home runs in 66.1 innings.
As it stands now, the Angels still don’t have a lefty in the bullpen, a proven set-up man, and a solid closer. The bullpen has more question marks in 2019 than it had in 2018. Fans are probably begging for one big off season move to happen soon. If not, they can only that new Angels manager Brad Ausmus and new pitching coach Doug White will be able to work magic with the Halos pitching staff. At this point, the Angels starters and relievers will need a miracle with regards to health and performance.
Featured Image: John Curtiss/MLB