Angels acquire LHP Joe Thatcher from Diamondbacks in 4-player trade

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Thatcher is one of three relief pitchers acquired by the Angels in the last nine days.

The Angels acquired left-handed relief pitcher Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana from the Diamondbacks in exchange for two minor leaguers, outfielder Zach Borenstein and right-handed pitcher Joey Krehbiel, on Saturday, the teams announced.

For the Halos, Thatcher is the headliner, as Campana was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. Thatcher is the third relief pitcher acquired in the last nine days, joining Jason Grilli, acquired for fellow struggling reliever Ernesto Frieri on June 27, and Rich Hill, acquired from the Red Sox for cash on Tuesday.

Thatcher, and to a lesser extent Hill, fills a need for the Angels, who have gone with a nearly all-right-handed bullpen for most of the year. Only 17 of their 246⅓ relief innings have been thrown by left-handed pitchers this season. Thatcher has held left-handed batters to a .241/.250/.407 line with no walks and 17 strikeouts in 56 plate appearances in 2014.

Thatcher this season is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 37 appearances, with 25 strikeouts and only three walks in 24 innings. His 8.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio is second in the National League to Clayton Kershaw, though 10 AL pitchers also rank above him in that category.

Angels relievers have issued the fourth-most walks (114) in the American League this season. Thatcher has an active streak of 54 straight batters without a allowing a walk, spanning his last 24 appearances dating back to April 29.

The left-handed Thatcher, 32, is making $2.375 million this year and will be a free agent after the season.

Campana, 28, has bounced back and forth this year between the Diamondbacks and Triple-A Reno. He is just 9-for-60 (.150) in the majors this season, but was hitting .288/.343/.368 in 47 games in Reno. Since his major league debut in 2011, Campana has stolen 66 bases and been caught only eight times, his 89.2 percent success rate the best in the majors during that span.

Borenstein, 23, is hitting .262/.316/.402 with seven home runs and 17 doubles between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake. He was ranked the Angels ninth-best prospect by Baseball America before the season after hitting 28 home runs in 112 games in the hitter friendly California League in 2013.

Krehbiel, 21, has a 2.00 ERA in 17 games across both Class-A levels this year, with five saves, 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 innings. He was selected by the Angels in the 12th round of the 2011 draft.

Thatcher is expected to be in uniform for the Angels on Saturday night against the Astros in Anaheim.

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