Jays Acquire Catcher Jeff Mathis from Angels in Exchange for Brad Mills

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 18:  Catcher Jeff Mathis, left, #5 and pitcher Rich Thompson #63 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim shake hands at the end of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Angels beat the Orioles 11-2. (Photo by Steve Ruark/Getty Images)
Steve Ruark/Getty Images

Another day, another savvy move by Jays GM Alex Anthopolous. Only a few days after losing back-up catcher Jose Molina to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Jays got the ball rolling by acquiring catcher Jeff Mathis from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for left-handed pitcher Brad Mills.

Mathis, 28, who by all accounts is one of the best defensive catchers in the game, leaves behind a great pitching staff in Los Angeles and heads north to Toronto.

Although not the greatest of hitters only averaging around .194 through three seasons, its his work behind the plate that got him to where he is today.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia absolutely loved Mathis, but acknowledged that the Angels needed a more offensive catcher next season. When the Angels acquired Chris Iannetta, the writing was on the wall for Mathis.

Mills, who likely has one of the weakest fastballs in the game, was hit more than a pinata at a backyard block party. In AAA however, Mills was very good leading the Pacific Coast League Las Vegas 51's in strikeouts, and ERA at 4.00.

He also only walked 39 batters. In the majors, it was obvious Mills was wild inside the strike zone.

With back-up catcher now covered, the Jays can move onto filling other holes in the lineup, mainly at second, closer and possibly even at starting pitching. With Kelly Johnson likely on the way out, Frank Francisco all but a goner, and Jon Rauch likely not brought back, the Jays will have a much different look next season, at least when it comes to veterans on the squad.