The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly made a three-team deal with the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. The Rays will be acquiring right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan from the Oakland Athletics as well as the 38th overall selection in the 2019 draft. The Rays will also be receiving minor league right-handed pitcher, Rollie Lacy, from the Texas Rangers.
The Rays will be sending their minor league pitcher of the year, left-handed pitcher Brock Burke, as well as prospects RHP Yoel Espinal and LHP Kyle Byrd to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are also receiving infielder Eli White and international slot money from the Oakland Athletics and sending infielder Jurickson Profar to Oakland.
Burke was among the top pitching prospects in the Rays system. According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America, Burke would have been slotted in as the 14th best prospect in the Rays stacked system heading into 2019.
Pagan pitched in 55 games for the Athletics over the course of the 2018 season, finishing the year with a 4.35 ERA and 4.92 FIP to go with a 24.1 K% and 7.3 BB% over 62 innings pitched. He is tremendous against right-handed batters, holding them to a .196 average in 2018. His repertoire, according to Brooks Baseball:
In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph) and Slider (86mph). He also rarely throws a Change (88mph) and Sinker (94mph).
His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has less armside movement than typical, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has slightly above average velo and has some added backspin.
His slider is a prototypical pitch with few remarkable qualities.
His change generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ changeups, is much firmer than usual, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups and has a lot of backspin.
His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 12 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has well above average velo, has less armside run than typical and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker.
Lacy was only briefly a part of the Rangers system, having been acquired from the Cubs in the Cole Hamels deal at the trade deadline. A former 11th round selection, Lacy has a back end starter’s projection. A recent FanGraphs report can be found here.
By receiving the 38th overall selection in the upcoming draft (as well as the approx. $2 million slot money assigned to that selection), the Rays now hold four of the first 61 selections.
With the completion of the trade, the Rays will have an open spot on their 40-man roster. Earlier this month, they agreed to a two-year deal with starter Charlie Morton, but the deal has yet to be finalized, as the Rays had a full 40-man roster. Don’t be surprised to see the Morton deal finalized now that there is room to add him to the roster.