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Angels acquire shortstop Jose Iglesias from Orioles

Iglesias, coming off a career year, is under contract through 2021

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

New Angels general manager Perry Minasian made his first impact move with his new team, acquiring shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Orioles for a pair of minor league pitchers.

The Angels sent right-handers Jean Pinto, who turns 20 in January, and Garrett Stallings, the club’s fifth-round draft pick in 2019 out of Tennessee, to Baltimore in the deal.

The trade was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Iglesias, who turns 31 in January, was an above-average shortstop defensively by Ultimate Zone Rating in each of the last eight seasons. By Defensive Runs Saved, he’s 18 runs above average from 2016-20, though that included two runs below average with Baltimore in 2020.

Offensively, Iglesias had the hottest extended stretch of his life in 2020, hitting .373/.400/.556 in 39 games with the Orioles, his 160 wRC+ by far the best of his career. His last average season offensively, by wRC+, came in 2013. Iglesias is a .278/.319/.380 hitter in his nine-year career, an 88 wRC+.

Iglesias didn’t have enough playing time to qualify for the leaderboard last year, but his .373 batting average was highest in the majors for anyone with at least 150 plate appearances.

Iglesias’ hard-hit rate of 36.5 percent in 2020 was by far his best, after finishing in the bottom four percent of MLB in hard-hit rate in each of the previous five seasons per Baseball Savant, and well ahead of his 22.2-percent career hard-hit rate.

He fills a void left by the departure of free agent Andrelton Simmons, and potentially sets the Angels infield for 2021, along with Anthony Rendon at third base, David Fletcher at second, and some combination of Jared Walsh and Albert Pujols at first base.

Iglesias is under contract for one more year at $3.5 million, per Cot’s Contracts, and will be a free agent after the 2021 season.