The Los Angeles Angels recently designated first baseman Trey Cabbage for assignment. On Wednesday, they announced that they have traded Cabbage to the Houston Astros in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Carlos Espinosa.
Cabbage made his Major League debut with the Angels on July 14. He had 56 plate appearances over 22 games with the Angels in 2023, slashing .208/.232/.321/.553 with a 49 OPS+ in that span. However, he was phenomenal with Triple-A Salt Lake last season.
He spent 107 games at the Triple-A level and posted a .975 OPS, hitting 30 home runs and stealing 32 bases, a dangerous combination of power and speed for a first baseman. With the Angels turning to Nolan Schanuel — their 2023 first-round draft pick — to be their every day first baseman, they opted against keeping Cabbage around the organization.
Instead, they land Espinosa, a 22-year-old Cuban-born righty with a three-pitch mix of fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, according to FanGraphs. He hasn’t spent much time playing at the professional level, though.
Espinosa has 40.2 innings of work in the Florida Complex League and 43.2 innings of work in Single-A Fayetteville. In that Single-A playing time, he has compiled an ERA of 4.53 with a 1.42 WHIP, a 10.1 K-per-nine and a 4.5 walk-per-nine.
The Angels are consistently looking for pitching depth within their organization, so even if Espinosa never makes it to the big leagues, L.A. considers it a worthwhile risk to have as many arms as possible in the farm system.
Former Angels first baseman Jared Walsh signs with Rangers
Former Angels first basemen are finding new homes in the American League West, as Cabbage is on his way to Houston and Jared Walsh signed with the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers — as an American League West rival — clearly saw Walsh’s potential and are giving him a chance to prove it for the reigning World Series champions. For Walsh, it’s exciting to get another chance after a difficult last two seasons as a pro.
For the Angels, they move on to the rookie Nolan Schanuel at first base, wishing nothing but the best for their multi-year starter.