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Angels Pick Up Chris Iannetta From Rockies, Give Up Tyler Chatwood

The Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels are making a trade. 

According to sources, the Rockies appear to be ready to locking up Ramon Hernandez as their veteran catching option. So the Rockies no longer need Chris Iannetta, and have apparently made moves to deal him to the Angels. The Rockies would receive right handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood in return.

Iannetta is a decent hitting catcher that was buried on the bench in Colorado. Iannetta is under contract for $3.55 million in 2012, plus has a club option for 2013 worth $5 million, or a $250,000 buyout. If he is traded, Iannetta has the right to void that 2013 option.

Even as a starter, Chatwood did very little of note with the Angels, compiling an average to mediocre 4.75 ERA in 142 innings pitched with a 1.67 and a .303 batting average.

This could also mean the end of the road for Jeff Mathis. The Angels catcher Mathis made $1.7 million last year while struggling, and is arbitration eligible for next season. But Angels can non-tender Mathis if they so choose on December 12, which would make Mathis a free agent. That could mean Iannetta gets a better shot to see playing time early.

More from the press release here.

    The Angels Wednesday announced the club has acquired catcher Chris Iannetta (EYE-uh-netta) from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood.  Today’s announcement was made by General Manager Jerry Dipoto.

          Iannetta, 28, appeared in a career-high 112 games with the Rockies in 2011 batting .238 (82/345) with 51 runs scored, 17 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .370 on-base percentage (2nd among all N.L. catchers, min 80 G).  He led the Rockies with a career-high 70 walks and was one of eight N.L. catchers with double-digit home runs.  Behind the plate, he made 105 starts logging a .998 fielding pct. (2 E in 817 total chances) while throwing out 27.1% of base stealers (26 for 96).  His 82 assists led N.L. catchers while his .998 fielding percentage ranked second among N.L. backstops.

           The Providence, RI native was drafted by Colorado in the fourth round of the 2004 draft out of the University of North Carolina.  In six seasons with the Rockies, he batted .235 (336/1429) with 72 doubles, 63 home runs, 236 RBI and a .357 on-base percentage in 458 games.  He enjoyed his finest season in 2008 batting .264 with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, a .390 OBP and an .895 OPS in 104 contests.  That season, he led MLB catchers with a 1.000 fielding percentage (0 E in 657 total chances).

           Chatwood, 21, finished his 2011 rookie season 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA (142 IP – 75 ER) in 27 appearances (25 starts). The right-hander was named Angels Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and entered 2011 as the Angels’ #2 prospect by Baseball America.  In parts of four minor league seasons, Chatwood compiled a 23-20 record with one shutout and a 3.40 ERA (325.2 IP – 123 ER).

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