Angels acquire Matt Joyce from Rays for Kevin Jepsen


In an outfielder-for-reliever swap, the Rays have traded Matt Joyce to the Angels in exchange for Kevin Jepsen.

Tampa Bay was said to be shopping Joyce a month ago because he’s due for a raise to around $5 million via arbitration and will be a free agent next winter. His production slipped a bit recently after some very strong years, but the 30-year-old Joyce is a solid corner outfield bat with a .783 career OPS and will be an especially good fit if the Angels shield him from most left-handed pitching.

Jepsen is projected to make about $2.5 million via arbitration following a season in which he threw 65 innings with a 2.63 ERA and 75/23 K/BB ratio. In the past his control has been shaky at times, but Jepsen has the raw stuff and bat-missing ability to be a late-inning relief option for the Rays and is under team control through 2016.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.