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American League

ANAHEIM ANGELS
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Acquired OF-L David Murphy from Cleveland in exchange for SS-R Eric Stamets; acquired OF/DH-L David DeJesus from the Rays in exchange for RHP Eduar Lopez. [7/28]

Think Bill Stoneman knew the Angels needed outfield help? He added two more options on Tuesday, pushing his total to three acquired since Sunday. What's more is Stoneman hasn't sacrificed the top of his weak farm system to complete the deals. Rather, in the two trades made Tuesday, he gave up lower-tier prospects in exchange for taking on dead-weight money from small-market teams.

Murphy and DeJesus are similar in many ways, from their playing styles to their contracts. Both have club options for next season ($7 million for Murphy, $5 million for DeJesus) that are likely to be bought out instead ($0.5 million for Murphy, $1 million for DeJesus). Add those buyouts to what's left on each player's salary, and the pair's total cost is more than $5.5 million. Include what the Angels owe Shane Victorino and Stoneman has added close to $7 million in salary for three rentals. How nice.

What are the Angels getting in return for their money? Two decent strong-side platoon outfielders who can replace Matt Joyce (during and after his stint on the disabled list) and help out at DH.

At 33, Murphy is nearly two years younger than DeJesus and is having the better season of the two. Credit some of his .284 True Average to his former manager, Terry Francona, who made sure he faced righties in a would-be career-high 93 percent of his plate appearances. (His current career high is 84 percent.) Murphy doesn't have the power production you'd like to see from a corner outfielder—he could finish with single-digit home runs for the second consecutive season—but he atones for his lacking over-the-fence pop by making a lot of contact and walking at a decent clip.

DeJesus served as a walking trade rumor during spring training due to his salary and the Rays' roster crunch. But he remained in St. Pete to open the season and played brilliantly during the first two months, especially May, when he homered four times and reached base at a greater-than-40 percent clip. Unfortunately, DeJesus has slumped since, recording four extra-base hits total since June started. Kevin Cash platooned DeJesus aggressively, resulting in him facing righties in 97 percent of his trips to the plate, and Mike Scioscia would be wise to follow suit if he wants to give DeJesus the best chance to return to his league-average self. –R.J. Anderson

CLEVELAND INDIANS
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Acquired SS-R Eric Stamets from the Angels in exchange for OF-L David Murphy. [7/28]

Stamets gets a "gamer" reputation, but his physical tools are better than that. The former sixth round pick has plus-plus speed, quality hands, and a strong throwing arm that make him the ever-so-rare "lock" to stick at shortstop.

Unfortunately, Stamets' abilities at the plate fail to match what he can do with his glove. His swing is geared toward contact with very little incorporation of the lower half and is short in its path; while that makes him difficult to strike out, it also gives him no chance to hit for power: He generally makes weak contact.

Even with 70 speed and a 55 glove, Stamets doesn't project as an every-day player, but he could serve a valuable role as a quality defender who can pinch-run when needed. –Christopher Crawford

TAMPA BAY RAYS
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Acquired RHP Eduar Lopez from the Angels in exchange for OF/DH-L David DeJesus. [7/28]

Lopez was signed for $45,000 in 2012, and while the Angels have taken it very slow with the 20-year-old Dominican, he's managed an impressive 11.9 K/9 over his four-year career.

The best pitch at Lopez's disposal is his slider, a pitch that has hard tilt in the low-to-mid-80s that's difficult to pick up because it comes from the same slot as his fastball. He's been clocked up to 97 mph, but sits more comfortably in the 90-93 range when he's pitching every fifth day. His change is very much a developmental offering at this point, as he doesn't have great feel for it and has a noticeable arm-speed difference compared to his fastball. Lopez's command is also well below average, and his arm action is that of someone you typically see in relief.

Because there are two plus pitches at his disposal, the Rays may give Lopez a chance to start. But the lack of command and third pitch make Lopez the perfect candidate to move to the bullpen and, subsequently, onto the fast track to the majors. –Christopher Crawford

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jkaflagg
7/29
While none of the three outfielders acquired by the Angels the past few days are great players, they have the ability to help out in the short term and should provide an upgrade to the Matt Joyce debacle. Was surprised that Stoneman was able to acquire modest but useful pieces for virtually nothing, but assume that the willingness to take their full contracts was the key.....had the other teams insisted on real prospects, assume the Angels would have asked for some cash as well.
Zebraheaded
7/30
The Angels acquired David Murphy from the Angels?