Early on this offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made a move that was a bit surprising, acquiring Gio Urshela in a deal with the Twins. Urshela was always a good player who could definitely have helped the Angels, but the fit was hard to spot.
Urshela, as a primary third baseman, wasn't going to start most of the time over Anthony Rendon. The Angels planned on using him as a versatile infielder who could also provide the necessary depth at third base for when Anthony Rendon would go on the IL. While Urshela's defense was always better at third base, he filled in admirably at both shortstop and first base.
Gio had a really solid 62 games with the Angels before suffering a pelvis fracture which will likely end his season. With this being his final year under team control, it's easy to start thinking about which jersey Urshela will wear in 2024.
Regrading the Twins deal with the LA Angels for Gio Urshela
The Angels trade for Gio Urshela was a simple one. They acquired Urshela in exchange for pitching prospect Alejandro Hidalgo. The right-hander just turned 20 last month and is pitching in A+ Cedar Rapids right now.
Hidalgo was the 22nd ranked prospect in the Angels system at the time of the trade, and ranks 22nd in the Twins system right now according to MLB Pipeline. He's a raw, high-upside arm who had a projected MLB ETA of 2025.
Hidalgo has a 2.14 ERA this season but has walked 27 batters in 33.2 innings of work. The stuff is good, the command has been his biggest issue. He's a decent lottery ticket to have, but the Angels have a ton of pitching prospects who'd rank above Hidalgo.
It remains to be seen the kind of pitcher Hidalgo turns into, but the Angels got themselves a really solid and useful player in Urshela. His ability to play anywhere on the infield and hit anywhere in the order came in handy for them this season.
Urshela, a natural third baseman, played 37 games at the hot corner, 22 at first base, nine at shortstop, and one at second base. He was primarily used at the corners, and for a player who was inexperienced at first base (only three appearances prior to this season) he did a fine job.
Urshela slashed .299/.329/.374 with two home runs and 24 RBI. The power wasn't there, but Urshela's ability to put the ball in play and put up professional at-bats was something this team needed.
The grade I'd give this is a solid B- right now. The Angels got exactly what they expected out of Urshela when he was healthy. Injuries, especially injuries like these, are impossible to predict. Had Urshela played more the grade would've been higher, but for around a third of the season, he served his purpose.