ANAHEIM -- After signing third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal this offseason, the Angels dealt from a position of strength on Tuesday, reportedly trading second baseman Luis Rengifo to the Dodgers for outfielder Joc Pederson, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday that right-hander Ross Stripling will also be heading to the Angels.
ESPN's Kiley McDaniel reported that an additional piece of the deal might be Dodgers outfield prospect Andy Pages.
Neither club has confirmed the reports of what is a separate deal from the reported three-team trade involving the Dodgers, Red Sox and Twins in which the Dodgers acquire outfielder Mookie Betts and lefty David Price from Boston. Pederson, who is due to be a free agent after the 2020 season, would become the club’s starting right fielder with Brian Goodwin serving as a fourth outfielder. Right fielder Jo Adell, the No. 6 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, is now likely to open the year at Triple-A Salt Lake.
ANGELS GET: OF Joc Pederson, RHP Ross Stripling
DODGERS GET: IF Luis Rengifo
The Angels now have a starting outfield of Justin Upton, Mike Trout and Pederson that should provide plenty of power. Pederson, 27, batted .249/.339/.538 with 36 homers and 74 RBIs in 149 games with the Dodgers last year. He’s historically struggled against lefties and was limited to just 50 plate appearances against them, hitting .224 with two doubles and one RBI.
Goodwin also hits left-handed but had reverse platoon splits in 2019, faring better against lefties than righties, so he could get a bulk of the playing time in right field when the Angels face left-handed starters.
Rengifo, 22, became expendable after the signing of Rendon, who will be the club’s starting third baseman. Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher will split time at second base this season, as Rengifo was likely to open the year in the Minors. Pederson also has some experience at first base and could see time there with Albert Pujols and La Stella.
Rengifo, though, is under control through 2025 and hit .238/.321/.364 with seven homers and two stolen bases in 108 games in his first MLB season. His defense also graded out as above-average, according to advanced metrics.
But the Angels wanted to add another established player as they aim for their first postseason appearance since 2014 under new manager Joe Maddon.
They also are bringing in more pitching with the reported acquisition of Stripling, who has a career 3.51 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers, including a 3.47 ERA in 90 2/3 innings last year. He's struggled with durability, as his career-high in innings is 122 in 2018, when he was an All-Star. But he upgrades the Angels' staff as a back-end starter and is under team control through 2022.
He's the third starting pitcher acquired by the Angels this offseason, as they also traded for Dylan Bundy and signed Julio Teheran to a one-year deal. They join veteran Andrew Heaney in the rotation with right-hander Griffin Canning also expected to be in the mix. It gives the Angels five starters to go along with two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who is expected to pitch once a week after he's fully cleared from Tommy John surgery.