New Angels GM Eppler’s first move: Waiver claim on OF’er Cunningham
Newly appointed general manager Billy Eppler made his first transaction with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. As MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweeted, the club acquired outfielder Todd Cunningham off waivers from the Atlanta Braves:
The Angels claimed Todd Cunningham off waivers. #Braves
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 9, 2015
This marks the first official business done by Eppler since being named the Halos’ new GM last week, and it’s an intriguing move for one particular reason.
As Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors points out, Cunningham isn’t figured to be much of an offensive threat (he hit just .221/.280/.267 in 93 plate appearances with the Braves in 2015). However, his defensive stats are impressive (his UZR rating is +18.4 runs per 150 innings), which indicates that the club evaluated his advanced metrics before deciding to make the move.
MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweeted that Cunningham is out of options but that the Angels are hoping to get him through waivers in order to stay with the organization:
Todd Cunningham is out of options, but Angels will hope to slip him thru waivers, like they did with Kieshnick and Marte last offseason.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) October 9, 2015