Nelson Cruz moves grades: Rays acquire big-time bat; Twins begin Sell-off

By acquiring Nelson Cruz, designated hitter for the Twins, the Rays were able to get ahead of the MLB deadline.

Tampa Bay sent Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman pitchers to Minnesota in exchange for Cruz. Cruz will provide instant offense to an already high-scoring American League team. In the deal, Tampa Bay also purchased minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher.

After failing to compete in the first half, Minnesota is now starting its midseason sale-off.

Sporting News rates the moves of both teams.


Tampa Bay was one of the most sought-after rentals in the 2021 market. Cruz was the name that was being rumored for several weeks. The Rays had previously expressed an interest in Cruz; the Rays pursued Cruz after he became a free agent following the 2018 season. Instead, he signed for the Twins.

Cruz is 41 years old and Cruz has a salary of $5 million. This should not be a concern for a team that wants to make re-entry to the World Series. One of the most talented DHs is available to the Rays. Cruz was at the top of the team with 19 home runs, 50 RBIs and a combined.294/.370/.537 line on Thursday.

The Twins did not yet know if they would send money to the Rays for Cruz’s salary.

Tampa Bay used a rotation as DH this season, with Austin Meadows taking the bulk of at-bats. But that could change when Cruz comes aboard. He is unlikely to play outfield for the Rays’ new team. The Rays currently have Meadows and Brett Phillips. Manuel Margot is listed on the IL. If necessary, Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe can be used in the outfield.

Two twins with B+

Minnesota received two potential players for its next free agent-to-be. Strotman was 17th, and Ryan 10th respectively in MLB Pipeline’s prior ranking of Rays’ top 30-prospects. Faucher was a Double-A pitcher with a 7.04 ERA. The Twins did not trade Faucher for a top-level prospect.

Ryan, 25 years old, posted a 3.63 ERA over 12 games (12 starts) at Triple-A Durham. He allowed only 35 hits, and averaged 11.8 strikes per nine innings to 1.5 walks per nine. This type of command is expected to be used at the MLB.

Strotman (24 years old) was less efficient, but still a good pitcher for Durham. He had a 3.39 ERA over 58 1/3 innings in 13 games (12 starts) and 9.6 Ks every nine. However, his control was a problem. He averaged 5.1 walks every nine.

Next up for Minnesota is discussing possible deals involving core players such as Josh Donaldson (No.3). Jose Berrios, starter Jose Berrios, and J.A. Happ, Michael Pineda

Publited Fri, 23 July 2021 at 01:00:25 GMT +0000

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