Jerry Dipoto has made his first big move as Angels General Manager. Dipoto has traded starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood to Denver for Chris Iannetta.
In his Colorado Rockies career, Catcher Chris Iannetta has thrown out 30% of all baserunners attempting to steal. He walked 70 times last season, an absurdly high number for an Angels batter. The caveat on his walks is the impurity of the National League with pitchers knowing that walking the number 8 hitter will likely produce an automatic out with the number 9 batter being the opposing pitcher.
In six big league seasons, Chris Iannetta has batted .235 with a .357 OB%. The acquisition likely spells the end of an infamously underachieving Angels backstop, Jeff Mathis. The eulogy was on the wall when his greatest defender, Lyle "Springsteen" Spencer wrote this somber sonnet of probables just minutes ago...
Mathis, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season, shared the catching job with Mike Napoli for four seasons and excelled defensively, ranking among the best in the game with the glove. Having acquired Iannetta, the Angels also have the option of non-tendering Mathis in his final year as an arbitration-eligible player.
Chatwood started 25 games for the Angels and was rushed to the big leagues because of the implosion of Scott Kazmir. He gave up 166 hits in 142 innings in the bigs and his .9 HR/9 IP seems likely to go up way more in Coors Lite Field next season even with the advantage of an impure unreal hitter at the tail end of each National League lineup. Chatwood was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft by the Angels, 74th overall.
Chatwood was their first pick in that draft after losing a first round pick to the Minnsota Twins as compensation for signing Torii Hunter. The sum total of that draft still impacting the Angels is reliever Michael Kohn (13th round pick) and recent 40-Man Roster addition John Hellweg (16th rounder). 7th Round 2008 draftee Will Smith was half the package sent to the Royals for Alberto Callaspo, so our new GM is maximizing what he can for a campaign former minor league boss Eddie Bane may never brag about.