The Angels made an addition to their bullpen on Monday, trading for Rays reliever Aaron Slegers. The Halos will send Tampa Bay a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Left-hander Dillon Peters was designated for assignment to make room for Slegers.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander was cut by the Twins, Pirates, and Rays in 2019 but re-signed with Tampa Bay last summer. Slegers worked his way back to the big league roster and made the most of his opportunity.
Aaron Slegers Career Statistics (Four Seasons):
- 2017: (4 games, 3 starts) 6.46 ERA 15.1 IP 1.174 WHIP
- 2018: (4 games, 2 starts) 5.27 ERA 13.2 IP 1.390 WHIP
- 2019: (1 game) 3 3.00 ERA 3 IP 1.000 WHIP
- 2020: (11 games, 1 start) 3.46 ERA 26 IP 0.885 WHIP
The majority of the damage against Slegers in 2020 came in his first appearance, where he allowed five earned runs in two innings pitched. Slegers allowed five earned runs in 24 innings in his final 10 appearances.
This was enough to earn a spot on Tampa Bay’s postseason roster, where Slegers posted a 1.80 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in five innings pitched out of the bullpen.
Every successful bullpen needs a long-inning reliever, and Aaron Slegers could be that guy for the Angels this season.
Slegers doesn’t throw hard, but his ability to command a low-90s sinker and mid-80s slider should make him a reliable long-inning reliever.
Aaron Slegers Statcast Statistics:
- Barrel Percentage: 2.7% (Top 4% MLB)
- WOBA: .210 (Top 1% MLB)
- Hard Hit Percentage: 28.0 (Top 8% MLB)
- BB Percentage: 5.0 (Top 10% MLB)
This move marks another addition to the retooling of the Halos bullpen by general manager Perry Minasian. The Angels traded for closer Raisel Iglesias and signed left-hander Alex Claudio earlier this offseason. Minasian also signed veteran Junior Guerra to a minor-league deal.
Just moments before the Angels traded for Slegers, I posted an article explaining how an elite reliever like Trevor Rosenthal gives the Halos one of the best bullpens in baseball. I still believe the Angels should explore adding another reliever for the backend of the bullpen.
The Halos don’t have the strongest starting rotation on paper, but having a lockdown bullpen could carry the pitching staff through the All-Star break. At that point, it’s up to owner Arte Moreno and Minasian to determine what player(s) are needed at the trade deadline.
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Like all the offseason moves we’ve seen so far, Slegers comes at low-risk for a potentially high-reward. It’s another solid addition for the Angels, but it should not be the last move made to build this team into a contender.