The trade deadline is a large mark for the season, and the Los Angeles Angels feel they've began the final step and process for a late postseason run by acquiring outfielder, Shane Victorino, from the Boston Red Sox.
The Angels acquired the Red Sox 2013 postseason hero at a relatively cheap cost, getting some contract relief from Boston and parting ways with depth chart infielder, Josh Rutledge. Rutledge was batting .274 for the Angels Triple-A affiliate, Salt Lake Bees this season.
Victorino, 34, is a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, who's contract ends at the conclusion of this season. The Angels were able to get Victorino on a slight pay cut, and will pay roughly $1.1 million of the $13 million Victorino will make this season.
During Victorino's 13-year career, his success against left-handed pitchers has been much more prominent than against right-handed pitchers. Against left-handed pitchers, Victorino holds a .304 batting average and .876 OPS, and this season has seen a .343/.439/.457 slash in 41 plate appearances. Against righties, Victorino has a .265 batting average and .724 OPS over his career.
Victorino has been on the disabled list twice this season, and six times over the last three years due to a strained right hamstring. Bill Stoneman, interim Angels General Manager has no concerns with this moving forward through the rest of the season.
With his success against left-handed pitchers, the Angels will most likely use Victorino in a platoon role. This brings to question more moves the Angels will need to make, primarily bringing in a left-handed corner outfielder. With the addition of a player of the likes, the Angels will be able to platoon Victorino and another which should create a stronger daily lineup than what they currently have.
The Angels are not done making moves, according Stoneman. The primary focus lies in acquiring a left-handed corner outfielder, but, a late inning relief pitcher is also on the Angels wish list. A few names have been tied in with Los Angeles, such as outfielders; Jay Bruce, Chris Coghlan, Andre Ethier, Adam Lind, Nick Markakis, Gerardo Parra and Ben Revere... as well as relief pitchers; Brad Boxberger, Joaquin Benoit, and Kevin Jepsen.
The biggest positives of this trade that brought Victorino back to Southern California where he started his career, is that the Angels picked up a vital piece for this season for a cheap cost, and did not have to use their top pitching prospects to acquire such a piece. Victorino brings six years of postseason experience to the fold, including three trips to the World Series, two of which he was on the winning team.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.