CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Tyler Skaggs’ first year in professional baseball has certainly been eventful.
The former Santa Monica High School star has already won a minor league title, made an all-star team and now he’s been a part of a major trade between his organization (the Los Angeles Angels) and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The only problem is that he has yet to actually report to the Diamondbacks because Major League Baseball rules require an entire year to pass from the time Skaggs signed with the Angels before he can be traded. Skaggs was drafted with the 40th pick in the 2009 draft.
“I was very surprised,” Skaggs said of the recent trade that dealt starting pitcher Dan Haren from the D-Backs to the Angels. “I actually heard about it over the Internet.”
Skaggs, initially listed as a player to be named later, has stayed with the team since news of the trade broke. He even made a start last week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. But, even though the situation is a bit awkward, he said that he’s been following the same routine, but won’t start again until he suits up for his new club. Despite being excited about playing for a new organization, he said he will miss his Kernels teammates once the trade is completed.
“I’m just trying to cherish my last days here,” he said.
Skaggs is expected to officially become a member of the D-Backs organization on Aug. 8. He said that his probable destination would be Arizona’s single-A affiliate in South Bend, Ind. Ironically, South Bend is in the same league as Cedar Rapids — the Midwest League, but the teams will not face each other again this season.
“This is going to be a good opportunity with this team,” said Skaggs, who was considered one of the top 10 prospects in the Angels’ system. “I’m feeling really good about it.”