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.