Mathis, 28, was the Angels primary catcher in each of the past three seasons despite a lifetime .194 batting average, mostly because he had gained manager Mike Scioscia's trust through his work behind the plate. By the end of the season, even Scioscia acknowledged the Angels needed more offense from the catching position.
Last January, the Angels traded catcher Mike Napoli to Toronto in the Vernon Wells trade. Napoli batted .320 with 30 home runs and starred throughout the postseason for the Texas Rangers. Mathis came up with the Angels in 2006. He was due for arbitration and likely would have earned at least $1.5 million, so Saturday's move provides the Angels some cost relief.
Mills, 26, made just five appearances for Toronto, but was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA as a starter for Triple-A Las Vegas. He led the 51s in strikeouts with 136 and walked just 39 batters.
This could be a busy offseason for Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was hired at the end of October and appears intent on remaking the Angels' roster. He has said he would like to acquire a late-inning reliever, a starter and another patient hitter by the end of the winter. The Angels have been linked to free agents Ryan Madson and Aramis Ramirez in the past week.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.