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Saturday December 11, 2010 12:34 am

Scott Downs, Halos reach three-year deal




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Scott DownsIf you haven’t heard of Scott Downs, you’re not the only one. But you will. The 34-year-old left-handed reliever just reached a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, agreeing to a three-year, $15 million contract that will see Downs ship out of Canada for the first time since 2000. Downs made his MLB debut with the Cubs, but joined the Expos partway through the season, then moved to Toronto in 2005 and has been there ever since.

The deal will also cost the Angels their second round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, as Downs is a Type A free agent. Normally, a Type A would cost a team its first round pick, but the Angels’ first round selection is protected, so they’ll hold on to it. However, if they sign a higher-ranked Type A – and rumor has it they may – Downs’ pick will become a third rounder for the Blue Jays.

Downs has been many things in the bullpen, primarily a setup guy who has the capability to fill in as closer when needed. In the last four seasons, his ERA has not risen above 3.09, nor has his WHIP gone higher than 1.264. He’s totaled 15 saves and pitched to between 200 and 290 batters each season. He’s faced some of the toughest hitters in baseball, so the AL West may seem like a breeze.

Downs has a tradition of writing his children’s initials into the back of the mound every time he enters a game, but that may be the only thing that remains the same for Downs with the Angels. No longer is he in the AL East, nor is he in the eastern time zone. Downs will strengthen an already-strong pitching staff. This is a good deal for both sides; one that more GMs should look for.

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