Rays reliever Kevin Jepsen, one of four high-leverage arms for the team this season, has been sent to the Minnesota Twins, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.
Jepsen is reaching his final year of arbitration next season, and will require a pay increase to $5 million next season. That's significant for the small market Rays. It was logical, then, that despite being a half-game behind the All-In Blue Jays this season, that the team would be dealing a reliever making more than many position players.
For now, the move frees up more money to retain the services of Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger, who will remain in uniform unless the Rays receive a godfather offer.
The Twins are currently sitting in the second wildcard slot, two games ahead of both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles, but with both of those teams making significant moves (the Jays acquired David Price and the Orioles acquired Gerardo Parra), the Twins likely felt that they needed to act to protect their position.
Here are Cotillo's tweets:
Done deal. https://t.co/PUqfFSPoaU— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2015
Rays may be getting minor-league arm(s) back from Twins in Jepsen deal, per source.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2015
Previously this off-season, we speculated that the Rays could receive a similar return for Kevin Jepsen as the Athletics received for Tyler Clippard. We will update the site as more information becomes available as to the actual return.