The Orioles made a surprise move and shipped one of their top batters from last season to Los Angeles. Ken Rosenthal was first to report the José Iglesias trade:
In return for Iglesias, the Orioles received right-handed pitching prospects Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings. Stallings, 23, is a former fifth round pick in the 2019 draft out of Tennessee, while Pinto, 19, pitched in the Dominican Summer League last season.
Stallings was ranked 21st on the Angels’ top prospects list, while Pinto was unranked. In his senior year at Tennessee, Stallings went 8-5 with a 3.33 ERA and struck out 106 batters over 102.2 innings.
Mike Elias adds arms to Baltimore’s farm system that will be impactful in years to come.
The Angels acquire Iglesias, 30, in the wake of Andrelton Simmons’ departure into free agency this off-season. Despite missing some time to injury, the Cuban shortstop had a phenomenal season in Baltimore. He hit a career high .373 with a .956 OPS; Iglesias recorded 25 RBI and 16 runs.
Iglesias is set to make $3.5 million on the last year of his contract this upcoming season. The fit makes sense for the Angels, as they look to replace Simmons in the infield.
For the Orioles, the team ships Iglesias at what might be the highest value they could have possibly gotten for the veteran infielder. Baltimore will likely replace Iglesias with Yolmer Sanchez, who was just claimed off waivers from the White Sox, or Ramón Urias. No. 6 prospect Gunnar Henderson seems to be the future of the shortstop position in Baltimore. The Orioles could find a more short-term answer in the offseason, as stated by Elias:
Utility infielder Pat Valaika, fresh off a one-year contract extension, will likely help fill the void at shortstop as well.
Thank you for all of your contributions to Birdland, Iggy! And, welcome to Birdland, Garrett and Jean!