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UPDATE: Angels trade Jeff Mathis to Blue Jays for Brad Mills

Dec 3, 2011, 12:10 PM EDT


UPDATE: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times confirms that the deal is done.

12:10 PM: Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Angels are on the verge of trading catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays for left-hander Brad Mills.

The Angels acquired Chris Iannetta from the Rockies earlier this week, which made Mathis a virtual lock to be non-tendered. The 28-year-old backstop stands to make close to $2 million in his second year of arbitration, so it’s a wonder why the Blue Jays didn’t just wait to see if he hit the free agent market. I could be wrong here, but I can’t imagine teams were falling over themselves for a .194 career hitter whose defensive contributions can be overstated at times. Anyway, he’ll serve as the backup to J.P. Arencibia next season.

Mills, who turns 27 in March, has an 8.57 ERA and 45/31 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings in brief stints with the Blue Jays over the past three seasons. He has regularly posted impressive numbers in the minor leagues, but barely cracks the mid-80s with his fastball. Perhaps he’ll have a better chance to succeed in the more favorable pitching environment in Anaheim. Hey, at least Dipoto got something of value in return for someone who was going to be non-tendered. That’s a win in my book.

  1. lyon810 - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Now maybe we can swap Vernon for Mathis

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Oh, this is hysterical. Damn the Angels really screwed the pooch last off season.

    • JBerardi - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      The Wells trade is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    This is Toronto’s thank you for the Wells trade. Mills can’t get major league hitters out, so I do not see this trade as a win for the Angels. The Jays needed a back up catcher. Mathis will be perfectly adequate in that role.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      Otherwise, Mills seems to be a good decent person. He does have an engineering degree to fall back on.

    • jwbiii - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Mills can’t get major league hitters out; Mathis isn’t a major league hitter. Good trade.

      This is only a win for the Angels because it prevents Mike Scioscia from writing Mathis’ name on the lineup card three or four days a week.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        Mathis will only appear in 1 or 2 games a week for the Jays. If Arencibia ever gets hurt, the Jays would bring up D’Arnaud from the minors.

      • jwbiii - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        Right. Better for d’Arnaud’s development to have him play regularly so the Jays can assess what they want to do with their two apparently fine young catchers.

      • cur68 - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        I suspect they’ll bring up D’Arnaud anyways. I see Mathis being either traded, bullpenned or sent down. I see this move as all about sending Mills (a guy who needs a specific type of park to be successful) somewhere and getting a more generally appealing trade chip for some team in desperation mode for a catcher with MLB experience (and probably hoping to get the next Mike Napoli off of Scoscia). Probably Mathis will get into 1 or 2 games a month and D’Arnaud will function as Arencebia’s backup. The less I see of Mathis the better.

    • cosanostra71 - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      we could trade Mathis for a tin can and it would still be a win!

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        Interesting comment. I looked at the LAA side of the story on and found that Mathis was rated by Bill James as the 4th best fielding catcher in MLB.The main job of a catcher is to catch. Hitting is a bonus.

      • cosanostra71 - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:00 PM

        proudlycanadian- Bill James must not have watched Mathis play much! He’s terrible!

      • jwbiii - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM

        Bill James had Mathis as the second best fielding catcher. The Fielding Bible awards had him fourth.

    • chuckj1234 - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

      Instead of Mills it should have been a player to be named later. Or was it?

  4. djpostl - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Lol. Things worked out so well for them the last time they sent a backstop to Toronto they decided to do it again!

    • pkers - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      How many former Angels backstops does this make for Toronto? 4, right? Bengie, Jose, Napoli for a second, and now Mathis.

  5. brownsbraves11 - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Trading Mathis to Toronto for the Astros’ manager is an odd trade.

    • stinkinfish - Dec 3, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      My initial thoughts when I saw the headline exactly.

  6. jimatkins - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Well, now we know who the Angel GM actually is. Now if we can just get that busted Russian Mars lander to target Vernon Wells on reentry, we might have a shot at a real season.

  7. cosanostra71 - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    there is a god!

  8. pitperc - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM


  9. cyanocittacristata - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Makes perfect sense to move Mills as the younger pitching prospects are starting to knock on the jay’s door. He has survived quite well in the PCL as a finesse lefty and may even become useable for the halos in the larger parks in the AL West. Mathis is well… Mathis and will finally find his destiny as second stringer. He may even be viewed as a trade chip for another team with catching needs at the deadline if attrition sets in. A fair swap me thinks.

  10. cur68 - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Mathis to the Jay’s, eh? Well, if my rooting interests were going to keep an Angel’s catcher then I wish the Beaver Men had hung on to Napoli, but while I’m wishing, I’d like a few million dollars and an MLB contract that includes Minka Kelly.

    Mills has a better park for his “pitching” & Arencebia has some backup with the irreplaceable Jose Molina now a Ray. Providing I don’t have to look at Mathis do too many things this season I can live with this. Perhaps Mathis turns out a Napoli-esque renaissance? I think I’ll wish for that…

  11. miketreedy - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Future Update: Toronto trades Mathis to Rangers where next year he hits .320 & 30 home runs as Napoli’s back up.

  12. trbowman - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Jeff Mathis is so bad. Anaheim should throw a parade.

    • pitperc - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      We are.

  13. SmackSaw - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Mathis for a left handed junkballer? DiPoto is a thief!

  14. Kevin S. - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    I’m confused – how did the Jays get a catcher from the Angels without any albatross contracts to send back?

  15. Mark - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I don’t understand why the Jays traded for the worst player in baseball. Dude has the 8th worst wOBA for all batters since 1970 with a min of 1000 PA. His defence is average at best.

    Was every single catcher on the planet already signed to a contract?

  16. dirtyharry1971 - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    After this block buster deal i am totally convinced the jays have locked up 4th place in the AL east in 2012!!! Convinced beyond a doubt!!

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