Angels deal RHP Kevin Jepsen to Rays for OF Matt Joyce
The Angels dealt RHP Kevin Jepsen to Rays for OF Matt Joyce in a deal announced on Tuesday.
Joyce batted .254 with 23 doubles, nine home runs and 52 RBI in 140 games (116 starts) for Tampa Bay in 2014. An American League All-Star in 2011, Joyce also set a career-high with 62 walks last season.
Joyce is expected to be the primary designated hitter for the Angels.
"I'm excited to come to such a well-run organization and play next to some of the best players in the game and hopefully learn some things along the way," said Joyce during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.
"Honestly, I was a little surprised it was the Angels just because there were some other teams that were talked about, but I don't think it could have worked out any better for me personally."
"He has experience being a DH in the American League, which is not easy to teach someone on the fly. There's a lot of flexibility that makes us a deep and well-balanced team," added Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. "It was a little hard for us to trade Kevin Jepsen coming off of his best year, not only as a big leaguer but his best year as an Angel. He did a great job for us in 2014 and he won't be forgotten. We just feel like this is an opportunity for us to build a deeper and more well-balanced club for 2015."
For Jepsen, one of four relievers in Angels' history to pitch at least seven seasons with the club, the reliever recorded an 0-2 record and 2.63 ERA with two saves in 74 appearances in 2014.
Jepsen (orginally taken by the Angels in the second round of the 2002 Amateur Draft) ranks fifth all-time in franchise history with 315 total games pitched.
-- Abbey Mastracco contributed to this report