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Rays trade Matt Moore to San Francisco Giants

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MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have traded southpaw Matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants, sending away a controllable starter with improving numbers that has been part of the Rays rotation for the last five years.

Tampa Bay was said to be pursuing two top prospects from the Giants system, but will settle for one in SS Lucius Fox, a player not expected to be available to trade due to MLB rules, and major league infielder Matt Duffy, as well as one pitching prospect.

SS Lucius Fox is a switch hitting infielder with a quick bat, soft hands, strong arm and impressive athleticism. He was a coveted international prospect out of the Bahamas in 2015, and cost the Giants $6 million to sign. His recent signing apparently complicated the trade, which required nearly an hour to receive league approval.

Despite all the tools above, Fox’s defense has underwhelmed scouts in the past, but his foot speed is considered elite, so his overall defense may simply need to be a product of time and development.

Also heading to the Rays is major league infielder Matt Duffy, who saw his batting line crater with an 88 wRC+ after putting up a 116 wRC+ in 2015. Much of that success was attributed to a great swing and excellent launch angle, though it is not entirely clear what’s gone wrong for him this season. Duffy is under team control though 2020 and will make the league minimum until 2018.

Duffy, best known for his sprint home in the 2014 NLCS (below), is currently on the Disabled List with an Achilles injury. Although it’s not the first time he’s had such an injury, it is listed as only a strain, and prior to his injury Duffy was the major league leader for consecutive games played. Once activated from his current rehab assignment, Duffy will likely play in a utility role.

Completing the deal is young RHP Michael Santos, a projectable Class-A pitcher with a 2.91 ERA and 2.22 FIP over 58.2 IP this season. He boasts a full array of pitches and compliments of coachability and mound demeanor follow him, even if he has not yet built the strength for a starter’s work load. A signing out of the Dominican Republic, he’s a long way from the majors.

Matt Moore had a difficult recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2015, but seemed to have returned to form mid-season. He is signed to an affordable long term deal, with options across the next three seasons for $26 million combined.

Prior to surgery in early 2014, Matt Moore was an All-Star and placed ninth in the Cy Young voting in 2013.