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MLB trade rumors: Angels acquire Matt Joyce from Rays for Kevin Jepsen

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The Rays move their part-time outfielder, part-time designated hitter to bolster their pitching.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have traded right-handed pitcher Kevin Jepsen to the Rays in exchange for outfielder and designated hitter Matt Joyce. The move was likely made due to a surplus of outfielders in the Rays' system, as Joyce had been the subject of trade rumors for several weeks. The 30-year-old Joyce made 493 plate appearances last season, while the 30-year-old Jepsen made 74 relief appearances.

Joyce has had a steady career for the Rays, hitting .250/.340/.441 in seven major league seasons, including his rookie year with the Tigers. During his career, he has hit 88 home runs while posting a solid 118 wRC+. Daniel Russell at DRaysBay noted the fact that, despite Joyce having a number of suitors, the Rays probably had little leverage:

The Rays already had a crowded outfield, thanks to the presence of Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers, the contract of David DeJesus, and the emergence of Kevin Kiermaier. That's not to mention Brandon Guyer and Ben Zobrist utility appearances as well, so the leverage was not in the Rays favor.

Kevin Jepsen was a highly touted prospect in the Angels organization, but in seven major league seasons he has been largely inconsistent. In 2014, Jepsen made 74 appearances and posted a 2.63 ERA, the lowest of his career. Jepsen also struck batters out at a rate of 10.38 per nine innings last season.