Angels Trade Hector Santiago and Joe Smith

Hector Santiago is heading to Minnesota. Joe Smith is heading to North Side Chicago. The return doesn't look ideal. Angels trade deadline brings some surprising names to the Halos, with the highlight piece being former top prospect, Alex Meyer.

The trade deadline, a shocking time. Such shock came with the announcement of Hector Santiago being traded to the Minnesota Twins.

The swap stirred confusion, as Santiago was one of the Halos' top pitchers for the past three seasons, and the rotation doesn't have much depth in the foreseeable future.

The return came in the form of 11-year veteran pitcher, Ricky Nolasco, and former top pitching prospect, Alex Meyer; along with cash to control Nolasco's remaining salary for the current season. Angels' relief prospect, Alan Busenitz, was also sent to Minnesota in the trade.

Nolasco, 33, will fill the rotation spot that Santiago's departure left, but with the expected results being much lesser, and more of an "inning-eater" role. Over his 11 years in the Majors, the Corona native holds an 104-97 record and 4.58 ERA, with this season seeing a 5.13 ERA.

Santiago, 28, was a fan-favorite in Anaheim for his friendly demeanor and off-field contributions to the local community. On the field, he held a 3.82 ERA and one All-Star appearance in his three-year tenure with the Angels.

Santiago took to Twitter to thank the organization and fans, along with a picture of himself smiling in the bullpen to express his message to the fans.

"This is what the Angels and the Angels community has done for me, nothing but happiness and great memories! Thanks Angels and Angels' fans for everything, you were all so great to me, and I will miss the Big-A. Thank you all for the great memories."

Busenitz, 25, was an addition to the Angels side of the parting pieces. Equipped with a high 90's fastball and above-average sweeping curve, Busenitz held a 3.55 ERA between Triple-A and Double-A this season.

The large return for Santiago came in the form of former pitching prospect, Alex Meyer.

Meyer, 26, was once a consensus top 50 prospect across baseball, and since, fallen off due to injuries and control. However, the arsenal remains with a high 90's fastball with sink, plus power slider, and an above-average changeup. All that comes in on the batter quickly due to genetics, as Meyer is six-foot-nine, and with natural downhill action.

The new acquisition took to social media to express his excitement for joining a new club, and sending his gratefulness to the Twins' organization.

"Enjoyed my time with the Twins and thankful for the friends I made. Thank you to the Rochester Red Wings for making the last three summers so great! Can't wait for this next opportunity with the Angels!! Ready to get to work!"

Meyer is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury, but is close to a return, likely joining the Angels' Triple-A affiliate, Salt Lake Bees.

Angels' GM, Billy Eppler, confirmed that Meyer would be a starter in the Angels' organization. He will likely compete for a spot in the rotation next Spring Training.

"It was more a matter of that's who they wanted and they kept pushing for that," Twins' interim GM, Rob Antony, told the Star Tribune in regards to the Angels' desire in attaining Meyer.

In addition to the Santiago trade, the Angels sent reliever, Joe Smith, to the Cubs, in exchange for minor league pitcher, Jesus Castillo.

Smith, 32, will be a free-agent at the end of the season, and was expected to be traded before the non-waiver deadline. Over three years with the Angels, the sidearm reliever posted a 2.89 ERA and picked up 26 saves.

Castillo, 20, is said to be an advanced pitcher for his age with a good fastball-changeup mix. One scout says his changeup is a plus pitch, which is a compliment to his low 90's fastball. The same scout raved about his abilities to repeat his free-and-easy mechanics. Castillo currently has a 3.27 ERA in Class-A.

Whether the Angels truly did attain the talent to improve in the future will have to wait until exactly then - the future.

"It's not a day to celebrate," Eppler told Angels Radio AM 830 KLAA. "It's a day to take a look in mirror and try to accumulate as much talent as we can get."

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