The Angels have selected the contract of right-hander Kelvin Caceres, per a team announcement. In corresponding moves, left-hander Aaron Loup has been transferred to the 60-day IL while right-hander Jose Marte was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Caceres, 23, began the 2023 campaign at High-A before quickly advancing to Double-A and then Triple-A by the end of the season. Across all three levels, Caceres owns a 4.12 ERA in 54 2/3 innings of work. Since being promoted to Triple-A, however, Caceres has been nothing short of dominant with a 0.90 ERA and a 27.5% strikeout rate despite a 12.5% walk rate in ten innings of work. That small-sample success is particularly impressive given the extreme offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League, where the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate plays. Caceres will look to get into one of the last few games of the regular season for his major league debut as the Angels look to cover innings ahead of the offseason.
Making room for Caceres on the 40-man roster, is Loup, which is little more than a procedural move. After all, Loup’s 2023 campaign was already expected to come to a close after his placement on the injured list earlier this month with a shoulder strain. The 35-year-old veteran struggled through a difficult season in 2023 as he posted a 6.10 ERA across 55 appearances, albeit with a more palatable 4.37 FIP. The Angels hold a $7.5MM club option on Loup’s services in 2024, but given his downturn in performance it seems more likely the club will opt for a $2MM buyout on the option, allowing Loup to test the open market this offseason.
Meanwhile, the Angels optioned Marte to make room for Caceres on the active roster. The 27-year-old righty has consistently struggled at the big league level in brief cups of coffee over the past three seasons, with a combined 8.14 ERA and 7.62 FIP in 24 1/3 innings of work in the majors. His work at the Triple-A level, while certainly an improvement, also leaves something to be desired; he’s posted a 5.83 ERA in 46 1/3 innings of work at the highest level of the minor leagues during his career.