Less than 24 hours before Shohei Ohtani made his decision to join the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels made a deal with the Atlanta Braves, sending David Fletcher and Max Stassi to Atlanta in what could really only be viewed as a salary dump. The Angels didn't get anything of value in return but shed some money while Atlanta got two players who have been productive in the not-too-distant past.
Immediately after the deal was publicly agreed to, we learned that Stassi's stay in Atlanta was not going to be long. Since Atlanta already had Travis d'Arnaur and Sean Murphy behind the dish, they had no need for Stassi and just made the trade to acquire Fletcher. We knew Stassi was going to be on the move, but didn't know when and where he'd go.
Just hours after Ohtani announced his decision, the Braves successfully moved Stassi to his new destination. The team that acquired him was the Chicago White Sox.
Max Stassi joins a familiar Angels trade partner with latest deal
With Yasmani Grandal a free agent, Stassi joining the rebuilding White Sox makes sense. The former Angels backstop missed the entire 2023 season due to personal reasons, and has the chance to be the starting catcher for what will be a bad White Sox team.
With Chicago rebuilding, having Stassi come along and help their pitching staff makes a lot of sense. The veteran has been praised for his ability to work well with pitchers. We saw just how comfortable Shohei Ohtani was throwing to him. That has not been the case with every catcher the Angels have deployed over the years.
Moving on from Stassi felt impossible due to the money he was owed in 2024, but was necessary with Matt Thaiss proving he's more than capable as a backup catcher. The Angels' duo of Logan O'Hoppe and Thaiss at catcher is both young and solid.
The 32-year-old spent parts of four seasons with the Halos and was a productive player in two of those years. Hopefully a chance to play fairly regularly on the White Sox (until former Angels prospect Edgar Quero takes over) will help Stassi get his career back on track following the missed 2023 season.