Minnesota Twins Trade Gio Urshela to Los Angeles Angels

by Josh Stevens
Minnesota Twins Trade Gio Urshela to Los Angeles Angels

We have another deal early in the MLB offseason. The Minnesota Twins trade Gio Urshela to Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels are once again making splashes in the offseason. After already signing Free Agent LHP Tyler Anderson, the Angels have now acquired Gio Urshela, giving away minor league RHP Alejandro Hidalgo in return. While this return seems very underwhelming, as Hidalgo struggled to a 0-3 record with a 4.62 ERA over 39 Class A innings last year, Twins writer Dan Hayes offers more insight on why the Twins had to move Urshela.

Coincidentally, Roster Resource projects that shortstop is exactly where Urshela will end up in the Angels lineup. This means either the Angels are much higher on him than other clubs, or this move is strictly for depth and the Angels will look elsewhere for a shortstop (David Fletcher played 36 games at short in 2022, while Luis Rengifo played 19 games there).

Minnesota Twins Trade Gio Urshela to the Los Angeles Angels

Gio Urshela Fantasy Impact in Los Angeles

Assuming Urshela is an everyday player, this is a very solid move for the Angels offense.

While usually getting more recognition on the defensive side, Urshela has quietly strung a few highly effective years at the plate. Urshela has had an OPS+ of at least 120 in three of his four seasons with the Yankees and Twins, hitting at least .285 in those three seasons. Even in 2021, the year excluded from these stats, Urshela was able to post a league average 96 OPS+.

Urshela joins a star-studded Angels lineup featuring former MVP's Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, along with star third baseman Anthony Rendon. While this seems like a great lineup on paper, injuries have taken their toll on Los Angeles, as Trout and Rendon alone have missed 388 games in the past two seasons.

When the whole team is healthy, Urshela could provide a very respectable fantasy output in 2023. The 3 above-mentioned stars will provide protection for Urshela, who should have room to continue his stretch of above-average hitting campaigns. Baseball-Reference projects Urshela for a triple slash of .271/.320/.418 next year, and I don't see any reason why he shouldn't surpass those expectations in his new star-studded lineup.

Impact of Gio Urshela's Departure on Minnesota.

This is a very minor hit to Minnesota's offense.

As stated by Dan Haynes, up-and-coming prospect Jose Miranda is expected to take over at third base, while the Twins just traded for shortstop Kyle Farmer. This means Urshela would have been all but regulated to the bench for the 2023 season.

However, this trade could impact where star free agent Carlos Correa ends up.  Many sources have stated that Urshela and Correa are very good friends. If Correa already had one foot out of the door in Minnesota, this trade may have pushed him to fully commit to signing with a new team.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a very low-risk trade for the Angels that could pay out surprisingly good benefits.

This is a major upgrade for Urshela, who likely gets to be an everyday starter in a more high-powered lineup, allowing him to build upon his momentum from New York and Minnesota.

Another benefit for Urshela is the ballpark factor. The Twins play in the 8th most pitcher-friendly park, while the Angels play in the 4th most hitter-friendly park. This only provides more value to Urshela.

Look out for Urshela to be a late steal in your fantasy drafts. However, due to his age (31), redraft is probably a better format for Urshela, but he still has value in Dynasty leagues as well.


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