Angels Acquire Ernesto Frieri From Padres

The Angels were known to be looking for bullpen help and they have addressed that need in the form of Ernesto Frieri.  The Angels acquired the right-handed reliever from the Padres in exchange for right-hander Donn Roach and infielder Alexi Amarista.  The Padres first announced the move on their official Twitter feed.

Frieri has been one of the game's more underrated relievers during his four Major League seasons.  Frieri has a 2.33 ERA, a 2.45 K/BB ratio, an 11.4 K/9 rate and 0.6 HR/9 over 105 career appearances, with 137 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings.  As Padres broadcaster Andy Masur points out (Twitter link), Frieri had been the longest-tenured player in the San Diego organization, originally signing with the team in January 2003 at age 17.  Frieri turns 27 in July and has virtually identical home/away splits for his career, indicating he isn't a creation of Petco Park's pitcher-friendly dimensions.  Frieri is represented by Matt Colleran and is under team control through 2016.

Though the Angels' closing situation is currently in flux with Scott Downs stepping in for Jordan Walden, it's probably unlikely that Frieri would immediately be thrust into the closing mix or even necessarily a setup role in Los Angeles.  Frieri pitched in relatively few high-leverage situations in San Diego, though the Padres' deep bullpens of recent years didn't necessarily require Frieri to be used in a larger role.

In Amarista and Roach, the Padres pick up two young players ranked by as the 12th and 16th-best prospects, respectively, in the Angels' system.  Amarista has a .313/.370/.441 career slash line in six minor league seasons, including a .776 OPS at the Triple-A level.  The 23-year-old second baseman helps fill the Padres' big organizational need for middle infielders, though Amarista also has experience at third, shortstop and the corner outfield positions.  Amarista was probably expendable in Anaheim given the long-term deals recently given to Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick, not to mention highly-touted prospect Jean Segura, who ranked as the Angels' second-best prospect (behind only Mike Trout).

Roach, 22, was taken by the Angels in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft.  The right-hander's numbers have gotten progressively better over his three minor league seasons, and Roach has a 2.16 ERA and a 9.67 K/BB ratio in six starts at high A-ball in 2012.

This is the first trade between Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and Padres GM Josh Byrnes.  Dipoto worked under Byrnes in Arizona and took over as the Diamondbacks' interim GM when Byrnes was fired as the Snakes' general manager in July 2010. 

58 Responses to Angels Acquire Ernesto Frieri From Padres Leave a Reply

  1. D.j. Wilson 3 years ago

    Alexi Amarista is a good friend of mine. I hope he actually gets a chance to play in San Diego!!

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

      What’s the scoop on him? Padres could play him every day and have him bat lead off sometime in the near future

      • N1120A 3 years ago

        Good glove, surprising pop.  Kind of like Maicer Izturis (part of the reason he doesn’t get playing time).

        • Amarista had 4 HR in 396 AB in 2011 at Salt Lake, a hitters paradise. Certainly not much pop in his bat. He does have a good range and a good glove at 2B and will hit for decent average. His value is in his ability to be a true utility player – infield 2B, SS, 3B and all 3 outfield positions with at least reasonable defense.

          Hes 23 and has already had a cup o coffee at ML level. Not a bad pickup.

      • tizzzzz 3 years ago

        yeah I would say that he has the most power of the current angels’ slap hitters, he hit REALLY well during this past spring training and opened some eyes. he could start right away for the pads.

      • D.j. Wilson 3 years ago

        Okay, so basically what you need to know about Alexi is that he is like a lot of the current Padres: He’s very fast, plays good defense, but han’t hit very well in the Majors to this point. He has raked at AAA but he’s a really small guy, he’s about 5″6 1/2, about 155lbs. I think with consistent at-bats, his swing could come around, his sample size in Los Angeles was honestly just too small.

    • Louie 3 years ago

      I hope so to always liked him. Also always knew it would be hard for him to find a spot on that roster. Wish him luck from us angels fans

      • D.j. Wilson 3 years ago

        Thanks Louie! Definitely will….I just talked to him about 2 hours ago, he’s excited to join San Diego!

  2. risky trade for angels, amarista was supposed to be maicer of the future and roach is pitching well, shows how desperate they are for pitching

    • tizzzzz 3 years ago

      But he wasn’t going to be able to play with the angels stockpiled with players with similar skill sets (kendrick, izturis, aybar, callaspo, and even segura). I think this is a great trade for the angels.

      • N1120A 3 years ago

        I think Aybar being signed long term is what made Amarista expendable.  Segura slides into the Maicer role.

        • Tko11 3 years ago

          That Aybar deal is not looking pretty thus far, hopefully he turns it around. He was my sleeper SS pick in fantasy drafts. 

    • now they should trade takahashi for kevin gregg (and the 1.6 difference)
      or trade takahashi for matt thornton
      what the angels should have done with abreau was trade abreau and takahahsi to the mariners for chone figgins and brandon league

  3. BVHjays 3 years ago

    I prefer this trade for the Angels.

  4. TophersReds 3 years ago

    I haven’t heard much about Frieri, but he looks pretty legit. Good pickup for the Angels. He’s not a Free Agent until after 2017, which is helpful too.

    • chico65 3 years ago

      I’m just shocked that somebody named Frier-i left the Padres

  5. Frieri is a stud, I really liked him.

  6. Phadreus 3 years ago

    Angels are winners here.  Roach and Amarista could be contributors, but Roach is pretty far away and Amarista probably projects as Izturis on the high end.  On the low end he projects as Ramiro Pena.  

    I am actually surprised that is all Frieri cost.  At the deadline last year Adams, KRod, and Uehara cost a lot more than that and they really arent that much better.  

    This is the second trade that Byrnes has made at the helm of SD where it appears he was negotiating in a vaccum instead of seeking the best deal. The Rizzo deal was a CLEAR loss for SD as they gave away a guy that was a top 25 hitting prospect for relievers.  The clearly had decided Rizzo was going to the Cubs and they didnt go for the best offer they could get.  I get the feeling here that the Angels probably inquired about Frieri and Byrnes pulled the trigger.  He should have held out for more.

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

      When’s the last time Padres had a decent lead off hitter? I bet replaces odogger and bats lead off, I’m excited about Amarista!

    • iheartyourfart 3 years ago

      adams had a much, much better track record than frieri, and his peripherals were off the charts good.  since 2009 no pitcher in baseball (minimum 150 innings) has had a better ERA, batting average against, or WHIP than Mike Adams.  Frieri has good stuff, but at this point he is still pretty flawed, especially when it comes to control.  he’s been worth about .6 WAR over his career.

      also, the padres got andrew cashner for anthony rizzo, who they are planning on moving to the rotation for 2013.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Far from a lock that Cashner starts next year. More likely, he’s the closer.

        • iheartyourfart 3 years ago

          i guess that makes sense if you completely disregard everything their GM and manager have said.

      • Cashner will not move to the Padres rotation, but he may move to the closers position in the pen. Watch and see. 2013 will see Stauffer, Luebke, Bass, Volquez and Weiland/Kelly in the starting rotation. 

    • You have obviously never seen the walking heart attack Padres fans know as Frieri pitch. ERA doesn’t tell the whole story.

      The biggest reason Frieri was moved was he will be arbitration eligible after this season and he is eminently replaceable by Brach, Boxberger, Burns, Mikolas, Hamren and other pitchers the Padres have coming up in their system.

      Padres get two decent prospects for an easily replaced part of bullpen. 

      This also frees the Padres up to dump Hudson and Barrett, two relatively expensive and under-performing veterans with younger and cheaper players.

      • Amish_willy 3 years ago

        Frieri came into the year with 1 year and 100 days of service time so he won’t be arbitration eligible until the 2014 season and the Angels have him under control for 1 month less than 5 years.

        No one around the Padres considered Frieri as the teams closer when Bell left. Way too inconcistent to be viewed as a viable long-term option in that position with how he is now. I like him a good deal and he should be a good addition to the Angels, but asking for him to be their future closer isn’t terribly realistic, IMO.

  7. Phadreus 3 years ago

    Two things to think about as well about the trade.  

    1) is there a chance that Frieri closes in Anaheim?  He may be the best reliever the Angels have now (although I doubt Mike Scioscia has any idea what he has in his pen).

    2) While Amarista profiles much better as a utility guy, might the Padres thinking that he could be a replacement for Orlando Hudson?  Hudson has been hitting much better lately and is still a pretty good defender, but SD seems they want to move on from him.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing—acquiring Amarista has “Orlando Hudson release” written all over it.

      Although Amarista probably needs a little more AAA seasoning, this sets up a midseason release of the O-Dawg pretty well.

      Not sure if Frieri’s better than Scott Downs though, in terms of closing.

      • Phadreus 3 years ago

        True.  Downs and Frieri are probably about equal. 

      • Padres fans can only hope Hudson goes away. I am hoping Padres eat his salary and trade him for at least some type of prospect.

        Barrett may also go away. His option vests at 432 AB. Just bring up Cabrera and give him the job at short. 

    • jeffmaz 3 years ago

      Frieri would be a good closer for any team.  The Padres are waste deep in closers and closers to be.

  8. Love it.  Halos needed another arm.  Amarista was not going to see the field unless there were two major injuries.

  9. If you’ve seen Hudson play at all the last 2 years then you know that his defense has dropped to below average. Angels fans are wayyy too high on Frieri. He’s good; no doubt, but he has crumbled under pressure and the Padres have ample arms to deal from a position strength.

    • tizzzzz 3 years ago

      haha but when you have jepsen, takahashi, isringhausen, and the rookie carpenter any decent reliever would be a major upgrade.

    • I must agree the angels fans act like he is more than just another mid level RHP.  Frieri is a decent set up man but must watch his control because of many walks in the past.  The players they gave up are just a utility player and a A ball starter so it was not a high cost. 

      •  Angels have nobody with that K rate in the pen. Good addition, we are not stacked a RP like you guys. But really, how many high leverage innings did he ever get in that loaded pen?

    • Phadreus 3 years ago

      If by the last two years you mean 2010 and 2011 his defense actually is pretty strong over that time (URZ/150 of 4.5).  If you take into account this year his URZ/150 is 4.3.  There may be some drop off from his heyday, but not much.

    • jeffmaz 3 years ago

      Frieri has very good control.  He does like to hit batters more than most relievers.

      • briankoke 3 years ago

        No, no he doesn’t.  Frieri’s problem is his control. 

        • Amish_willy 3 years ago

          No kidding. When the team’s philosophy to an arm is aim for the middle of the plate (due to lack of control where it ends up) that’s a pretty telling sign.

  10. now trade kevin jepsen and takahashi for brian fuentes or brandon league

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Other teams don’t give away viable relief pitchers for the Angels’ DFA candidates.

    • Robb Logan 3 years ago

      No way I ever want to see Fuentes in an Angels uni again. Would rather trade Jepsen and Taka for Moskos from Pitt or just about anyone else.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Max – please stop with the ridiculous proposals.

  11. cookmeister 3 years ago

    i hate to lose Roach, he was looking like a pretty good prospect. but they need depth now so I’m ok with this

  12. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    Deal’s an even flip. Both teams dealt from surpluses and acquired needs.

    John Sickels LOVES Roach and has him listed as one of his breakout candidates.

    Amarista fills in at either 2B or SS when ready, with his long term role being in utility. Orlando Hudson is released when Amarista is ready.

    Frieri has monster K rates but scary BB rates and is a flyball pitcher (if Bourjos is NOT playing CF on a regular basis, this could be a problem).

  13. Getting mixed reviews about whether Frieri will be a middle reliever or closer, he’s a big strikeout guy who’s shown consistent above average work though. I say the Angels give him a chance, Downs is too good of a lefty specialist to keep closing.

    • thesultanofswingandmiss 3 years ago

      Don’t ask me, I thought he was 3rd baseman.

    • iheartyourfart 3 years ago

      frieri definitely has the stuff and the makeup to be a ML closer.  he just really needs to refine his control and continue to avoid the long-ball at an above average clip.

  14. PushDown 3 years ago

    Seems like a good trade all-around. Both teams traded from their surplus and I don’t know about the Padres. but the Angels sorely needed the acquisition of a reliever.

  15. briankoke 3 years ago

    I’m not so sure Frieri is closer material.  He’s got good stuff and misses a lot of bats, but his control is a major issue.  The Padres haven’t seemed willing to put him in there in important situations.  He may become an effective set up guy, but I have a hard time believing in him as a closer.  Don’t get too excited.

  16. PushDown 3 years ago

    His last name is FRIERI! That alone makes him legit.

  17. Jesse 3 years ago

    So now we have an Ernesto and a Vern? Aw shucks

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