ANAHEIM, Calif.--New Angels closer Huston Street is in the final year of a five-year, $36-million contract that includes a $7-million team option for next season, but he does not view himself as a temporary solution for a club that has had trouble locking down the ninth inning in recent years.
Asked before Saturday night's game against Seattle if he envisions himself remaining in Anaheim beyond 2015, the 30-year-old right-hander didn't hesitate.
"Absolutely," said Street, who was acquired Friday night in a six-player trade with San Diego. "I told the Padres that this was a place I would welcome going to because you have a good chance to win a championship."
But securing a long-term extension is by no means a given, even for a seasoned closer who has converted 109 of 117 save opportunities since 2011, a 93.2 percent success rate that is the best among all relievers over that span.
"I have to be successful first. I have to do my job," said Street, who made his Angels debut Saturday, pitching a scoreless ninth in a 3-2, 12-inning loss to the Mariners. "It's something I want, to be in a place you enjoy being, especially as a closer, where your job is predicated on winning. We need to play eight innings of good baseball for me to even have a chance to matter.
"But I have to earn that again, to prove to this team, which is in middle of something serious, trying to catch the A's and move into first place, that I'm worthy of that."
The Angels are betting he is, so much so that they gave up three of their top prospects in an already-thin farm system -- triple-A second baseman Taylor Lindsey, double-A reliever R.J. Alvarez and Class-A shortstop Jose Rondon -- to acquire Street.
"It's always painful giving up young players we believe are going to play in the big leagues," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. "But we feel good about the return. Huston has been one of the more consistent closers in baseball for a long time, and we feel very strongly about his character and what he brings to the clubhouse."
That character was evident Saturday when Street sought out Joe Smith, who yielded the closer role to Street despite having converted his last 10 save opportunities and allowed just one hit in 11 innings entering Saturday.
Smith, 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 15 saves in 45 games, made it clear Friday he welcomed Street, saying, "If they think he can help this club, bring it on."
But the new guy wanted to assure the guy whose job he was taking that supporting teammates is a two-way Street.
"He's my teammate -- I'm going to pull for him, and I expect him to pull for me," Street said. ". . . We'll be open with each other. 'If it's me 1/8pitching the ninth3/8, it's me, if it's you, it's you, but let's just pull together and try to win a championship, because I promise, that's going to feel better than anything.'"
Street, a 10-year veteran who has a 35-27 career record, 2.87 ERA and 258 saves in 300 opportunities, is not overpowering, but he delivers a 90-mph fastball, slider and changeup from a deceptive three-quarters arm slot.
"He has good command, he uses all of his pitches, and the X factor is how competitive he is on the mound," said Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, a Colorado teammate of Street from 2009 to 2011.
Street last played in the American League for Oakland in 2008, but he expects the transition from the National League to be smooth.
"A lot of it is trusting your catcher, trusting the scouting report," he said. "Down and away is still down and away; locating a slider is the same. I've never been a guy who tries to trick people. I'm also not a guy who just blows people away. Move the ball in, out, around. So much of what I do is trusting my stuff."
Mariners 3, Angels 2 (12 inn.)
KEY MOMENT: Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison, who each hit left-handed, opened the 12th inning with doubles against left-hander Joe Thatcher to end a 1-1 tie and end at 15 a streak of consecutive scoreless innings by Angels relievers. Endy Chavez's bunt single and Justin Smoak's run-scoring infield single added a run that enabled the Mariners to absorb David Freese's leadoff home run in the bottom of the 12th and end the Angels' winning streak at six games.
AT THE PLATE: Dustin Ackley broke up Garrett Richards' perfect game with a leadoff double to left-center field in the sixth and scored on Jesus Sucre's single for a 1-0 Seattle lead. Albert Pujols sparked a tying rally in the seventh when he fouled off five two-strike pitches and drew an 11-pitch walk. Josh Hamilton walked and Howie Kendrick hit an infield single. Shortstop Brad Miller made a diving stop, but his throw bounced past first base for an error that allowed Pujols to score.
ON THE MOUND: Seattle's Felix Hernandez tied an American League record with his 12th consecutive start in which he threw seven innings or more and gave up two runs or less. Richards is 7-0 with a 1.25 earned-run average in his last nine starts.
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