Angels acquire left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher from Arizona

Joe Thatcher
Joe Thatcher had a 1-0 record and 2.63 earned-run average in 37 games for Arizona this season.
(Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

The Angels remained aggressive in their attempts to bolster their bullpen, acquiring veteran left-hander Joe Thatcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday for minor league outfielder Zach Borenstein and pitcher Joey Krehbiel.

The Angels also acquired speedy triple-A outfielder Tony Campana in the deal. Campana is not expected to join the big league club but could be a valuable pinch-runner when rosters expand on Sept. 1.

Thatcher, 32, had a 1-0 record and 2.63 earned-run average in 37 games for Arizona, striking out 25 and walking just three in 24 innings and holding left-handers to a .241 average.

He doesn’t throw hard — his fastball sits in the 86-mph range, and he compliments it with a slider — but his sidearm delivery can be difficult for hitters to pick up.


The Angels will pay about $1.1 million of Thatcher’s $2.375-million contract and he will be a free agent after this season.

Thatcher has held left-handers to a .221 average over an eight-year career in which he is 9-12 with a 3.26 ERA in 346 games, most of them with the San Diego Padres, for whom he pitched from 2007 to 2013.

The acquisition of Thatcher marks the third time in seven days that the Angels have made a trade for a reliever. They acquired closer Jason Grilli from the Pittsburgh Pirates for demoted closer Ernesto Frieri and left-hander Rich Hill from the Boston Red Sox for cash. But the Thatcher deal will likely result in Hill getting designated for assignment.

Borenstein, 23, a 23rd-round draft pick of the Angels in 2011, was named the California League most valuable player in 2013 after he hit .337 with 28 home runs and 95 runs batted in for Class-A Inland Empire. He was also named the Angels’ minor league player of the year.


He has split time this season between triple-A Salt Lake and double-A Arkansas, hitting .256 with two homers and 22 RBIs in 30 games for Salt Lake and .266 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 48 games for Arkansas.

Krehbiel, 21, a 12th-round pick in 2011, is a right-handed reliever who had a 1.93 ERA in 13 games for Class A Burlington and a 2.25 ERA in four games for Inland Empire this season.

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