#49 - MAICER IZTURIS, U
Maicer Izturis came the Angels along with Juan Rievra in exchange for Jose Guillen. It was either the last Montreal Expos trade ever made or the first one executed by the Washington Nationals. Either way, it was a coup for General Manager Bill Stoneman. Guillen had been suspended from the team for insubordination with a week left in the season and the Anegls had no bargaining power in trading him.
The Nats got 2.7 Wins Above Replacement in two seasons of Guillen and then lost him to free agency. The Angels got 7.1 WAR out of Rivera in six seasons and a whopping 12.3 WAR out of Izturis over eight years with the club.
Izturis was a true supersub in the Angels greatest decade. He played 3B, SS and 2B with unwavering defense. With the bat he was a great switch hitter. He was perfect as a late-inning pinch hitter - especially from the left side - because he could then be sent into the field and make the team better with his glove.
His biggest negative was that he would tend to wear out if he played a few days in a row, hence his being confined to spell infielders. And yet, he managed over 2,700 Plate Appearances as a Halo, so he must have been doing something right.
His 12.3 WAR ranks 26th among Angels position players. His 141 Doubles rank 19th and his 87 Stolen Bases is the 14th most by an Angels player. Maicer's 189 Extra Base Hits as an Angel ranks 23rd, just behind Juan Rivera's 1996 - that is 385 XBH for Jose Guillen... who would not have that many XBH left in his career after the trade. He ranks in the top 26 all time Among Angels batters of over ten offensive categories including RBI, Runs Created, Walks, Triples, Total Bases, Hits, Runs Scored, Games Played and batting average. His .339 On Base Percentage ranks 27th.
And yet, he was brought over in the trade for that glove. It is always so sweet when a Top 100 Angel came over in a trade the team won.
Also an appreciation of the Mice Man written in 2011 after yet another big pinch hit kept the Halos close in a September pennant chase (LINK).