La Stella signed a one-year, $1.35 million deal with the Angels on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. La Stella was sent to the Angels for cash considerations in November after spending four years as a utility man with the Cubs, never coming to the plate more than 192 times. The change in teams is unlikely to come with a change in role, though if injuries do open up unexpected playing time, La Stella's career .264/.345/.366 slash line suggests he could be a capable enough fill-in option.
La Stella was traded from the Cubs to the Angels on Thursday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. La Stella is eligible for arbitration, so the Cubs -- having recently acquired Ronald Torreyes from the Yankees -- decided to send the infielder packing rather than tender him a contract. The 29-year-old primarily served as a pinch-hitter in 2018, slashing .266/.340/.331 across 192 plate appearances. He figures to fill in around the infield for the Angels in 2019 while also offering a left-handed bat off the bench.
La Stella (back) grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance Monday against the Pirates. La Stella hadn't appeared in a game since Sept. 14 while dealing with back soreness, an issue serious enough that it prevented him from travelling with the team for its series in Arizona from Sept. 17-19. He appears to be ready to take part again in his usual bench capacity.
La Stella (back) stayed in Chicago while the Cubs flew to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. La Stella is dealing with a sore back, so the Cubs decided it would be best for him to avoid two plane rides. Chicago is hopeful he'll be available for Friday's series opener against the White Sox, although more news on his status should emerge as the weekend nears.
La Stella was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to lower-back tightness, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports. La Stella was scheduled to start in order to give Javier Baez a rest, but it's instead La Stella who will need to rest due to injury. It's unclear how the injury cropped up or how serious it is, however. David Bote will slide over to third base to replace him, allowing Albert Almora to join the lineup.