Right out the gate, the Los Angeles Angels and Huston Street sounded like a match made in heaven. Pardon the pun; you’ll be seeing a few of them here.
Street wanted to play for a winning team and needed an environment where he could get more save opportunities because the San Diego Padres weren’t cutting it (though they have made a surprising resurgence post-trade deadline).
On July 18th, both parties’ prayers were answered when the Angels obtained Street while sending four prospects to San Diego: second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon, and righty pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Elliot Morris.
Critics didn’t seem to consider that for Los Angeles, a team with championship aspirations, Street wasn’t a menial acquisition, but a chance to turn the team’s biggest weakness into a strength.
The right-hander is tied for third in runs allowed in the Majors with six for the whole season. Smith, while putting up a strong season himself, still allowed nearly three times as many runs with 16. And Frieri had 22 as an Angel, with 12 more as a Pirate before getting designated for assignment.
Street has converted 34 of 36 save opportunities for the season and his 94.4% save rate is the second highest in the MLB. He ranks eighth in saves, third in leaving runners stranded with an astonishing 95.1 LOB%, fourth in ERA at 1.13, and eighth in WHIP at 0.83.
As a result, FanGraphs advanced metrics has Street ranked #1 in WPA (Win Probability Added) at 4.07. Prior to the trade, the Angels bullpen had 13 blown saves. They’ve only had two since.
Huston… you’ve solved their problem.
Street has a club option for next season, which played a part in Angels surrendering a generous sum of prospects. The term “club option” is typically music to any GM’s ears, no matter how effective the player is.
But with the closer making a reasonable $7 million and performing at an elite level, it’s hard to imagine Los Angeles not exercising his option. After all, the two-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year arguably looks better than he ever has, posting his career best in ERA, and a second best in LOB%, K/9 (9.00), and FIP (2.60).
Huston runs these streets. He saved the team. Sorry, I guess now would be a good time to close this one out.