Angels acquire Moustakas from Rockies

Published 7:45 pm Sunday, June 25, 2023

DENVER (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran infielder Mike Moustakas from Colorado moments after their 25-1 victory over the Rockies on Saturday night.

The Rockies got minor league right-hander Connor Van Scoyoc, who was 4-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 11 starts at Class A Tri-City this season.

Moustakas hit .270 with four homers and 17 RBIs in 47 games with the Rockies after joining them in spring training.

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The trade marks a return home for the Los Angeles native, who hasn’t played farther west than Colorado in his 12-year MLB career.

“To be traded to the Angels, it’s awesome,” Moustakas said Sunday before the series finale between his former and new teams. “I get to go back home. I get to play with some phenomenal baseball players over here and get a chance to win. That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s what I’ve always been trying to do. I’m really excited to have that opportunity again.”

Moustakas said he was informed of the trade by Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt before Saturday’s game, providing him with the opportunity to go into the clubhouse and say goodbye to his Colorado teammates.

“It’s sad,” Moustakas said. “It’s a great group of guys over there. They gave me an opportunity to come back and play Major League Baseball this year. I’ll forever be grateful for that. I made some really good friends. I’m going to miss those guys a lot. It’s a great group. We had a lot of fun. Obviously, we didn’t play as well as we should have and wanted to, but that’s a great group of guys. That’s going to be a good team here in the future.”

Moustakas, who signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds in 2019, struggled with injuries and poor play in his three years in Cincinnati, hitting .216 in 184 games before being released by the club in January. Two months later, the Rockies signed him to a minor league deal.

“I know I can play this game still, especially when I’m healthy,” Moustakas said. “The last couple of years haven’t been great for me, but I feel good. I feel healthy.”

After playing a third of the season with the last-place Rockies, he will join an Angels team that’s firmly in playoff contention.

Moustakas, a three-time All-Star, has been on five playoff teams and was the starting third baseman for Kansas City when the Royals won the 2015 World Series.

“We’ll mix and match and work it out,” Angels manager Phil Nevin, whose team has lost infielders Anthony Rendon, Gio Urshela and Zach Neto to injuries in the last two weeks, said Saturday night. “This week, the lineup hasn’t had the depth we have had all season. We feel like we have that now.”