The Angels announced on Thursday that they've acquired infielder Thomas La Stella from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for La Stella, the Angels released outfielder Jabari Blash.La Stella, 29, batted .266 with a .672
The Angels announced on Thursday that they've acquired infielder Thomas La Stella from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for La Stella, the Angels released outfielder Jabari Blash.
La Stella, 29, batted .266 with a .672 OPS over a career-high 123 games with the Cubs this past season. He proved to be a valuable asset off the bench in Chicago, leading the Majors in hits (24), batting average (.312) and OPS (.813) and ranking second in RBIs (11) among pinch-hitters with a minimum of 50 plate appearances in 2018. In parts of five seasons in the Majors, La Stella has posted a .345 career on-base percentage.
"I'd like to thank the Chicago Cubs for an amazing experience over the last 4 years," La Stella said in a statement released by his agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council. "[It was] a special group of people who taught me about so much more than just the game of baseball, and who supported me when they easily could have chosen not to.
"Thank you to the fans and everyone in the organization, especially to the boys: Being around you guys was some of the best times I've had playing the game. And lastly, thank you to my new team, the Angels. I'm excited for this new opportunity and can't wait to get it started."
A left-handed hitter, La Stella can play second and third base, adding an experienced option to the Angels' current mix, which includes Zack Cozart, David Fletcher, Taylor Ward, Luis Rengifo and Kaleb Cowart. La Stella is eligible for arbitration and is likely to be tendered a contract ahead of Friday's 5 p.m. PT deadline.
Blash, 29, hit .317 with a 1.131 OPS and a Pacific Coast League-high 29 home runs in 83 games with Triple-A Salt Lake in 2018, but he struggled to translate that success to the Majors. In 24 games with the Angels, Blash batted only .103 with a .328 OPS and one home run.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter.