Just before Thanksgiving, the Angels signed pitcher Jake Faria to a minor league contract, giving the Southern California native a chance to pitch for his hometown team.
“I grew up in Anaheim and my dream of being a big leaguer started at The Big A,” Faria tweeted on Wednesday. “I’ve wanted nothing more than to wear ‘Angels’ across my chest while representing my hometown and I’m thankful to finally have that opportunity.”
I grew up in Anaheim & my dream of being a big leaguer started at The Big A. I had season tickets & the 2nd picture in my room as a kid. I’ve wanted nothing more than to wear “Angels” across my chest while representing my hometown & I’m thankful to finally have that opportunity pic.twitter.com/TXzvHim6LU— Jacob Faria (@JDFaria34) December 10, 2020
The 27-year-old right-hander, who was born in Orange County and pitched for Gahr High School in Cerritos, has a 4.54 ERA and 4.77 FIP in three major league seasons with the Rays and Brewers, with 153 strikeouts and 76 walks in 170⅓ innings. Faria didn’t pitch in the majors in 2020, but was a non-roster invitee in spring training with Milwaukee and spent time at the Brewers alternate training site during the season.
Faria was released by the Brewers in September.
He has pitched once in Anaheim in his career, allowing only one run in 6⅔ innings for the Rays as a rookie in 2017. He talked about the stadium where he grew up watching games in an interview with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times in 2017:
“We’d always go down and get David Eckstein to sign baseballs and stuff, and one day he didn’t come out, he was hurt or something,” Faria said. “So we’re first in line and thinking, ‘Where is he?’ and then Vladdy comes out.
“We had baseballs, but I’m like, ‘He’s signing my hat.’ As soon as we got back to our seats, my dad took that hat, put it in a bag and it’s never been worn again. It’s hanging up in our living room.”
Now, Faria has a chance to wear his own Angels jersey.
Iglesias trade finished
The Angels trade for closer Raisel Iglesias was completed on Thursday, on two fronts. Infielder Leonardo Rivas was sent to the Reds as the player to be named later, to complete the deal. Noé Ramirez was also sent to Cincinnati as part of Monday’s trade.
Rivas was signed out of Venezuela in 2014, and hit .252/.380/.362 in five minor league seasons with the Angels. His highest level reached was High-A Inland Empire, where he hit .236/.328/.377 while playing mostly shortstop, but also saw time at second base, third base, and center field. Rivas turned 23 in October.
The final piece of the trade that was revealed was the Reds sending $900,000 to the Angels as part of the deal, per both Mark Feinsand at MLB.com and Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic. Iglesias is under contract for one more year, at $9.125 million for 2021.