Angels send David Fletcher and Max Stassi to Braves in trade

The Angels made waves with a major trade on Friday, sending David Fletcher and Max Stassi to the Braves in exchange for Evan White and Tyler Thomas. The trade is seen as a move by the Angels to shed the contracts of Stassi and Fletcher and bring in younger talent.

White and Thomas are recent acquisitions by the Braves, with White coming over from the Mariners in a trade and Thomas selected from the Mets in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. White, a former top prospect with Seattle, will provide depth at first base behind Nolan Schanuel, while Thomas will compete for a spot in the bullpen.

Stassi, who missed last season due to a hip injury and a family emergency, was owed $7 million in 2024 with a $7.5 million option for ’25. Fletcher was owed $6 million in ’24 and $6.5 million in ’25, with club options for ’26 and ’27. In contrast, despite playing just 84 career games in the Majors from 2020-21, White is owed $7 million in 2024 and $8 million in ’25 due to his six-year, $24 million contract with Seattle.

White, a former first-round pick, had a promising rookie season in ’20, winning the Gold Glove Award at first base. However, his production declined, hitting just .165/.235/.308 with 10 homers, 10 doubles, and 35 RBIs in the Majors. Thomas, on the other hand, has yet to reach the Majors and posted a 0.79 ERA in 22 2/3 innings with Double-A Binghamton. He also had a 3.72 ERA with 13 strikeouts in the Arizona Fall League.

Fletcher and Stassi were fan favorites and long-tenured players with the Angels. Fletcher, known for his defensive prowess, saw his production drop off in recent years and dealt with an abdominal injury in ’22. He hit just .247 with two homers and 12 RBIs last year. Stassi, a strong defensive catcher, had his best year in ’21, hitting .241 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 87 games. However, he struggled in ’22, batting .180 with nine homers and 30 RBIs.

The Angels’ 40-man roster is currently at 39, and they are still interested in bringing back Shohei Ohtani. The two-way superstar’s whereabouts had fans on edge, with rumors swirling about a potential move to Toronto. However, Ohtani remained in Southern California, and the focus shifted to the Angels’ trade with the Braves.

In summary, the Angels are taking a chance with the trade, hoping to rejuvenate the team with younger talent while saying goodbye to two beloved players in Fletcher and Stassi. Time will tell if this move pays off for the Angels in the long run.


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