The Los Angeles Angels acquired left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed from the New York Yankees on Tuesday in a package deal in exchange for outfielder Vernon Wells, according to ESPN.
Sneed was selected in the 32nd round of the 2010 amateur draft and has yet to advance past High-A ball in the minor leagues. The 24-year-old posted a 5.37 ERA in 31 games (four starts) with the Tampa Yankees in 2012 after an encouraging 2011 campaign with the club (3.69 ERA, 42 strikeouts in 39 innings).
Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said about Sneed, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group:
A 6-3 left-hand pitcher. He’s got some history of striking people out. That’s a good thing. Did not have a particularly good year last year in the Florida State league. Prior to that had been a left-hander with angle, fastball velocity up to 92 mph, got some slice to his slider that will get up to 85 mph. At 24 years old with high A-ball experience and north of 9 strikeouts per 9 over his career, we feel like there’s a bullpen role for him in the system. We’ll see how far he can take it.
As mentioned by Dipoto, Sneed likely won't be cracking the rotation anytime soon, but he's still relatively young in baseball years and his ability to strike people out could see him fill a role for the Angels, in the minors or (potentially) the majors. In three minor league seasons, Sneed has posted a 4.39 ERA with 210 strikeouts in 207 innings.
Sneed has also struggled with his command. He posted 40 walks in 63.2 inning with the Tampa Yankees in 2012. On the other hand, he only registered 28 walks in 103.2 innings of minor-league ball in 2011, so there's still a chance he regains his control.
The left-hander will likely be used to provide organizational depth as he looks to rebound from his 2012 campaign and get back to the level he was at in 2011. It appears this deal was mainly done for monetary reasons, as the Angels were reportedly able to shed $14 million of the remaining $41 million left on Wells' contract.
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