The Los Angeles Angels acquired utility man Tyler Wade from the New York Yankees in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the team announced Monday.
Wade — a left-handed batter from Murrieta, CA — is coming off of his fifth season in the Majors, all with the Yankees. In 2021, he played 103 games and had 145 plate appearances. In that time, he batted .268 with a .677 OPS, hitting zero home runs and five RBIs. He struck out 37 times compared to 16 walks.
Wade is most notably a speed threat and a defense-first player. On the bases, he ranks in the 94th percentile of sprint speed, stealing 17 bases in 23 attempts last season. He also is extremely versatile defensively, spending time at nearly every position throughout the season.
He played most of his innings at shortstop, but — in order of innings — also spent time at third base, second base, left field, right field, and center field. This is the second move made by the Angels that serves as a potential indicator for their shortstop strategy this winter.
The Halos claimed shortstop Andrew Velazquez off waivers — also from the Yankees — and now have traded for Wade. This means that they could be setting the table for a Spring Training position battle for the shortstop position and for backup utility roles.
Velazquez, Wade, Luis Rengifo, Jack Mayfield, and Phil Gosselin could all be involved in that battle, with Wade having the best offensive numbers in 2021.
To make room for Wade on the roster, the Angels designated Kean Wong for assignment. Wong, another utility player, spent much of 2021 bouncing back and forth between the Angels and Triple-A. However, he simply didn’t have enough consistency at the plate for the Halos to keep him around long term.
Any one of the players mentioned above could share the middle of the infield with David Fletcher in 2022, allowing the Angels to go spend more money on pitching.
Minasian confident on Raisel Iglesias
As the Angels stock up on potential infield and utility options, they still have plenty to evaluate with their pitching staff. One of the biggest decisions they have to make is about Raisel Iglesias, who is a free agent.
Iglesias rejected the qualifying offer, but Perry Minasian feels confident that he can get a deal done without losing the team’s best closer in several years.