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American League

ICYMI: Rays Trade Jake Odorizzi To Twins, Acquire C.J. Cron From Angels

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been busy as of late, as they traded left fielder Corey Dickerson to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the 22nd of February, as well as right fielder Steven Souza Jr. to the Arizona Diamondbacks two days prior to that as part of a three-team trade.

Right before both of those deals, the Rays were involved in an additional two that we forgot to cover here as they both went down on the 17th.

First, Tampa Bay received first baseman C.J. Cron from the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named. Immediately following the trade, the Rays designated Dickerson for assignment, as he was traded to Pittsburgh five days later.

The second deal involved right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi, as he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for shortstop Jermaine Palacios, the Twins’ No. 27 prospect via MLB Pipeline.

Cron, 28, has hit 16 homers in each of the last three seasons for the Angels, averaging 59 RBIs and 110 games played in those campaigns. This past season, he appeared in 100 games, the fewest since his 2014 rookie season in which he appeared in 79.

With 42 RBIs after the 2017 All-Star break, Cron finished second on the Angels in that category to Albert Pujols who had 47.

“One of the things that we have been on the lookout for was a right-handed hitter,” said Rays general manager Erik Neander. “When Cron became available at the price he was available for us, we felt like he was a better fit for our club moving forward, to balance us out. Going forward, we’re hoping (to have) similar offensive capabilities (from Cron), but from the other side of the plate.”

Odorizzi, 27, leaves the Rays after being with the team for the last five seasons. Prior to being dealt, Odorizzi defeated the Rays in an arbitration hearing, as the righty is due to make $6.35 million this year.

This past season, Odorizzi went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 games/starts across 143 1/3 innings, the fewest he’s had in his four full seasons as a starter (since 2014). In those four years, Odorizzi went 40-36 with a 3.81 ERA in 120 games/starts, averaging 167 innings pitched and 154 strikeouts per year.

With Odorizzi out of the rotation mix, the Rays are looking at an Opening Day rotation of Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Jake Faria, Matt Andriese, and Nathan Eovaldi.

Palacios, 21, was signed by the Twins out of Venezuela in 2013. In 2017, he hit .296/.333/.454 with 13 homers, 10 triples, and 67 RBIs in 124 games across two different single-A levels.

“There comes a point in time where you have to make some decisions and move some things forward,” said Neander. “That’s just on a general level. We felt this was the best time to (trade Odorizzi), and we felt like this was the best offer.

“This (Palacios) is somebody that, by our own work and by our own information, what we see here is a lean, wiry Venezuelan shortstop who has had plenty of offensive success,” added Neander. “Carries the position defensively well. Very good arm. Very good hands.”

The Rays finished 2017 with an 80-82 record, an improvement from their 68-94 record in 2016. The team is in somewhat of a rebuilding phase, as owner Stu Sternberg has put a payroll reduction into place for the upcoming year. Cron and Palacios are two solid additions in my opinion, and time will tell who the Rays will eventually send to Minnesota in exchange for Cron.

American League

Red Sox Designate Eduardo Nunez For Assignment

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Eduardo Nunez

The Boston Red Sox have designated infielder Eduardo Nunez for assignment, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Boston also optioned right hander Hector Velazquez to Triple A Pawtucket.

In corresponding moves, the Red Sox have called up right hander Ryan Weber and first basemen/outfielder Sam Travis from Triple A.

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American League

Royals Considered Likely to be Moving Billy Hamilton, Terrance Gore

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Billy Hamilton

As the trade deadline approaches, the Kansas City Royals may be ready to enter sale mode.

According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, the Royals may be moving both Billy Hamilton and Terrance Gore, who has already been designated for assignment.

Hamilton has been dropped to a backup role following the Royals call up of top prospect Bubba Starling, and hasn’t started a game since July 3rd.

Hamilton has posted a .217/.284/.271 slash line this season.

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American League

Orioles’ Mychal Givens Drawing Trade Interest

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Mychal Givens

The Baltimore Orioles are again going to be sellers at the trade deadline and it appears that closer Mychal Givens is available, and drawing interest, according to MASNSports’ Rock Kubatko.

Per the report, the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies have expressed interest in the pitcher.

Givens has posted a 4.50 ERA this season for Baltimore.

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