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OC Register: Angels pick up catcher Max Stassi before trade deadline


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ANAHEIM — The trade deadline came and went without the Angels adding pitching depth, either for the present or future, but they did pick up a catcher.

The Angels acquired Max Stassi from the Houston Astros in exchange for two 18-year-old outfielders.

Stassi, 28, has spent parts of seven seasons bouncing between the majors and Triple-A, accruing just 163 games in the big leagues. Stassi is primarily known for his defense. He owns a career .218 average with a .652 OPS in the majors.

Stassi is under control for three seasons after this one, giving the Angels some catching depth. Jonathan Lucroy, who has been the Angels top catcher this year, will be a free agent after this season. Kevan Smith is also under control for three more seasons.

The Angels farm system is thin on catchers. Jack Kruger is the top catching prospect. Kruger, 24, has a .626 OPS this season at Double-A.

In exchange for Stassi, the Angels sent outfielders Rainier Rivas and Raider Uceta to the Astros. Rivas has hit .297 with an .805 OPS in 61 professional games. Uceta has hit .269 with a .692 OPS in 74 professional games. Neither has played above the rookie level. Neither is ranked among the Angels top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline.

Besides the Stassi move, the Angels were quiet at the deadline.

General manager Billy Eppler had said he wanted to pursue players who could help in 2020 and beyond. The top controllable starting pitchers who were believed to be available — Robbie Ray, Mike Minor, Noah Syndergaard — all remained with their teams.

More to come on this story.

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