The Angels have acquired infielder Josh Rutledge from the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Jairo Diaz, the team announced. The Angels (via the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher on Twitter) say Rutledge will compete with Grant Green for the Angels’ second base job, which was vacated when the team traded Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers for Andrew Heaney.
Rutledge, 25, hit .269/.323/.405 in 342 plate appearances for Colorado this season. He graded as below average defensively (and has in all three of his big-league seasons), however, so that hitting line in Coors Field put him below replacement level overall. He hit for good averages as a minor leaguer, however, and might possess a bit more offensive upside than he’s shown so far. Also, using him at second base, rather than shortstop (where he spent the bulk of his time in 2014) might help him defensively. He can become eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season.
Diaz, 23, spent most of the 2014 season pitching in the bullpens of Class A+ Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas, combining for a 3.48 ERA with an impressive 11.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings. He pitched in five games in the big leagues in September and relied heavily on his fastball, which averaged 97.2 MPH. He did not rank in MLB.com’s list of the top 20 Angels prospect, but with his fastball and strikeout numbers, the Rockies likely feel he has significant upside for a reliever.