ANAHEIM -- The Angels swapped Minor League outfielders with the Mets on Tuesday, trading Kyle Johnson for Collin Cowgill, who has compiled 97 Major League games with the D-backs, A's and Mets the last three years.
Cowgill, 27, bats right-handed and can play all three outfield spots. He was subsequently optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake and was placed on the Angels' 40-man roster, with Ryan Madson being transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot.
Cowgill was the starting center fielder for the Mets on Opening Day, becoming the second player in franchise history to hit a grand slam in the season opener. He batted .180 (11-for-61) with two homers and eight RBIs in the Majors, then posted a .268/.362/.439 slash line in 32 Pacific Coast League games before being designated for assignment.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, part of the D-backs' contingent that drafted Cowgill in the fifth round in the 2008 Draft, said Cowgill is a smart baserunner with a plus arm and a "grinder's mentality."
Johnson, 23, was taken in the 25th round in 2012 and was batting .310 with two homers and 30 stolen bases in 67 games for Class A Burlington.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less