ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday for $100,000 or a player to be named.
La Stella spent the past four seasons with the Cubs. He batted .266 while appearing in a career-high 123 games last season, excelling as a pinch-hitter while also playing second base and third base.
La Stella led the major leagues in pinch hits (24) and pinch-hit batting average (.312), while his 11 RBIs tied for the big-league high. The Angels’ pinch-hitters were among the majors’ worst last season, batting .162 with a .265 on-base percentage.
Atlanta drafted La Stella in the eighth round in 2011. He debuted with the Braves in 2014, but was acquired by the Cubs shortly after that season.
He is a .264 hitter in five big-league seasons. La Stella is eligible for arbitration this offseason.
The Angels released outfielder Jabari Blash to make room for La Stella on their 40-man roster. The 29-year-old Blash excelled as a power hitter for Triple-A Salt Lake, but batted .103 with just one homer in 24 games in the majors.
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