ANAHEIM (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran outfielder Shane Victorino and more than $3.8 million from the Boston Red Sox on Monday for infielder Josh Rutledge.
The 34-year-old Victorino is a two-time World Series champion, a two-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner. He has spent the past three years in Boston, batting .245 in just 33 games this season with two stints on the disabled list.
Overall, Victorino has hit .276 with 108 home runs, 486 RBIs and 229 stolen bases in 12 major league seasons, including stints with San Diego, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Red Sox.
The AL West-leading Angels coveted Victorino’s postseason experience after he played a key role for the Phillies’ championship team in 2008 and again for the Red Sox’s title-winning team in 2013. Victorino memorably hit a grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS to send Boston to the World Series, where he added a key three-run double in the Red Sox’s title-clinching victory in Game 6.
“My opinion is that we wouldn’t have won the World Series without him in 2013,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said.
“I think about a guy that is maybe one of more passionate baseball players I’ve ever been around,” Cherington added. “He played with incredible grit and was a tough, smart player, and we wish him well.”
The trade was announced about one hour before the first pitch in Boston’s game against the Chicago White Sox, forcing the Red Sox to scratch Victorino from the No. 2 spot in their lineup.
Victorino mostly played right field for Boston, but seems likely to play in left field against left-handers for the Angels.
Los Angeles has struggled at the position ever since owner Arte Moreno got rid of $125 million slugger Josh Hamilton in April with no clear replacement. The Angels’ left fielders are collectively batting .212 with five homers.
Matt Joyce was expected to be the primary starter in left, but he is batting .178 in an awful season. Joyce also incurred an apparent concussion in Sunday’s win over Texas.
Collin Cowgill was batting .180 when he was sidelined May 28 with a sprained right wrist, while Efren Navarro is batting .260 with no homers in 37 games.
Victorino has struggled with injuries throughout his tenure in Boston, although he is currently healthy again.
He played only 30 games last season before having season-ending back surgery. Victorino then missed 2 1/2 weeks early this season with a strained right hamstring before sitting out nearly six weeks with a left calf strain, returning in early July.
“Obviously the DL time got in the way of making the same kind of contribution the past two years,” Cherington said. “But just what he did in 2013, it was a worthwhile deal.”
Boston will pay the Angels $3,801,639 as part of the trade. By the time Victorino reports Tuesday for the Angels’ series opener at Houston, he will be owed $5,655,737 of his $15 million salary this season, the final year of his current contract.
Rutledge has spent this season in the minors after playing in 105 games and batting .269 for the Colorado Rockies last season. He is batting .274 for Triple-A Salt Lake.
“He’s a guy we’ve had interest in, in the past,” Cherington said. “He’s an offensive infielder with some defensive versatility around the infield. We’re going to get a look at him. In all likelihood he’ll join the big league club when he gets here.”
The Red Sox recalled outfielder Rusney Castillo from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Victorino’s spot on the 25-man roster.