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OC Register: Angels acquire hard-throwing reliever Luis Garcia in exchange for Jose Alvarez


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The Angels shipped out one of their most reliable relievers in exchange for the potential upside of a hard-throwing veteran on Thursday night.

Coming off his best season in the majors, José Álvarez was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Luis Garcia.

Garcia, 31, posted a 6.07 ERA in 59 games with the Phillies last season, although that figure was inflated by four rough games in September. He did strike out 51 in 46 innings, with an average fastball of 98 mph.

General Manager Billy Eppler has been successful in picking hard-hard-throwing pitchers off the scrap heap before, notably with Blake Parker, JC Ramírez and Hansel Robles.

The significant difference here is the Angels gave up an established player to acquire Garcia.

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Garcia had a 2.65 ERA in 71-1/3 innings for the Phillies in 2017. In his two other full seasons, 2015-16, he had ERAs of 3.51 and 6.46.

Last season, Garcia had a 3.83 ERA heading into September, but in the final month he had four games in which he allowed 14 runs, ballooning his ERA.

Garcia is arbitration-eligible for two more seasons, due to make around $1.7 million in 2019. Álvarez, 29, also has two more years left, and he’s also set to make around $1.7 million in 2019.

Álvarez, however, has been much more consistent throughout his four full seasons with the Angels. His 2.71 ERA in 2018 marked his best season, following marks of 3.49, 3.45 and 3.88 in the previous three years. He had pitched between 48 and 63 innings each season.

By losing Álvarez, the Angels now have no experienced left-hander on their bullpen depth chart. Their top left-handed reliever is Williams Jerez, who made his major league debut after the Angels acquired him in the Ian Kinsler trade last July.

The Angels also signed outfielder Jarrett Parker to a minor-league deal. Parker, 29, has played parts of the last three seasons with the Giants, hitting .257 with 15 homers in 382 plate appearances. Parker joins veteran Peter Bourjos and Michael Hermosillo among the candidates for the fourth outfield spot.

More to come on this story.

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