Angels trade Ernesto Frieri for RHP Jason Grilli
JUN 27, 2014 7:05p ET
The Angels acquired right-hander Jason Grilli for Frieri, whose ERA ballooned to 6.39 and who had allowed 11 earned runs in eight innings this month.
Grilli, 37, had a career-best 33 saves last season for the Pirates but was 11 for 15 in save chances this season and had a 4.87 ERA.
Smith has seven saves but four blown saves for the Angels but has been more consistent of late, giving up just three earned runs in 10 innings this month.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia offered as much support as he could to Frieri, but there were few indications the right-hander was safe with a ninth-inning lead. He was acquired from the San Diego Padres in May 2012 and was spectacular, finishing with 23 saves, a 2.32 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.
This season, he was more bad than good, hitting stretches in which he threw with consistency but was usually unable to protect a lead. Earlier this month in Atlanta, for example, he failed to retire a batter, allowing five hits and four runs.
Thursday against the Twins, Frieri loaded the bases in the ninth inning before Joe Mauer delivered a three-run double against Smith.
It turned out to be Frieri's last appearance in an Angels uniform.