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Angels acquire Matt Joyce from Rays for Kevin Jepsen

Matt Joyce

Tampa Bay Rays’ Matt Joyce bats in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox during a baseball game Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

AP

In an outfielder-for-reliever swap, the Rays have traded Matt Joyce to the Angels in exchange for Kevin Jepsen.

Tampa Bay was said to be shopping Joyce a month ago because he’s due for a raise to around $5 million via arbitration and will be a free agent next winter. His production slipped a bit recently after some very strong years, but the 30-year-old Joyce is a solid corner outfield bat with a .783 career OPS and will be an especially good fit if the Angels shield him from most left-handed pitching.

Jepsen is projected to make about $2.5 million via arbitration following a season in which he threw 65 innings with a 2.63 ERA and 75/23 K/BB ratio. In the past his control has been shaky at times, but Jepsen has the raw stuff and bat-missing ability to be a late-inning relief option for the Rays and is under team control through 2016.

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