The Angels have acquired right-hander Dominic Leone from the Mets, per Will Sammon of The Athletic. Mike Puma of the New York Post first reported that the Mets were engaged in discussions on a Leone deal. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets received infield prospect Jeremiah Jackson in return.
Leone, 31, first broke into the big leagues with the Mariners back in 2014 with an impressive 2.17 ERA (168 ERA+) and 3.07 FIP in 66 1/3 innings of work. Since then, he’s bounced around the league, playing for Arizona, Toronto, Cleveland, St. Louis, and San Francisco in addition to Seattle and New York. The Angels will be the eighth team of his ten-year career in the majors. The veteran hurler sports a career 3.75 ERA and 4.01 FIP in 386 1/3 innings of work.
He’ll join the Angels following a rather difficult stint in New York. While he’s posted a 4.40 ERA that’s roughly league average by measure of ERA+ in 31 appearances, his 5.26 FIP is more concerning. While Leone’s 26% strikeout rate and 8.7% walk rate rate among the best marks of his career, he’s seen his groundball rate plummet to just 35.4%, far lower than his career 42.5% rate. While that isn’t entirely a problem by itself, Leone has also allowed a whopping 13.4% barrel rate this season, resulting in 18.4% of his fly balls leaving the year for home runs.
While Leone’s tendency to allow the long ball has severely limited his effectiveness this season, he should nonetheless be a useful arm for an Angels bullpen that ranks bottom four in the majors with just 1.3 fWAR as a collective unit. While Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore form a quality duo with which the club can close out games, Leone can help the likes of Aaron Loup and fellow deadline acquisition Reynaldo Lopez cover the middle innings for the Angels.
As for the Mets, they’ll receive a quality prospect in return for a veteran rental arm in the midst of a difficult season. Headed to Queens in exchange for Leone is Jackson, the Angels’ #9 prospect per MLB Pipeline. The 23-year-old infielder has shortstop, second base, third base, center field, and left field during his minor league career and has swiped 56 bags in 73 professional attempts. His been a league average hitter with Double-A Rocket City this year, slashing .248/.321/.447 in 349 plate appearances.