TRADE ALERT: Angels send Maldonado to Astros for SoCal prospect
The first domino has fallen.
With the MLB trade deadline just days away, the Los Angeles Angels made their first big move.
The Angels sent gold glove catcher Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros in exchange for left handed pitcher Patrick Sandoval and international pool space Thursday.
Sandoval, 21, has appeared in 19 games (13 starts) this season between Class-A Quad Cities and Adv.-A Buies Creek, going 9-1 with two saves, a 2.56 ERA and 97 strikeouts. He registered a 42 inning scoreless streak across nine games from May 29 – July 16 and went 6-0 with one save and 48 strikeouts in that span.
In his final 11 games with Quad Cities, he maintained a 1.00 ERA with 62 strikeouts and held opponents to a .188 batting average before being promoted to Buies Creek on June 27. The left-hander was named to the Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star team this season.
The Mission Viejo product was originally selected by Houston in the 11th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Mission Viejo HS. He has twice been named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week this season as well as being selected as the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week on July 15. In 52 games (38 starts) in his minor league career, Sandoval has gone 14-11 with three saves, with a 3.88 ERA and 237 strikeouts.
Sandoval has been sent to Advanced-A Inland Empire.
While the return is great, so is the piece the Halos are giving up.
In 216 games across two seasons with the Angels, Maldonado carried a .222 average with 19 home runs and 70 RBI at the plate; however, it was his play behind the plate that made him so valuable. The reigning Gold Glover has thrown out 12 of 27 potential base stealers so far this season.
With Maldonado now gone, Jose Briceno will likely take over the primary catcher responsibilities.