Coming on the heels of the Corey Dickerson DFA and trade for CJ Cron, the Rays have announced a trade of right-handed starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins. The Rays will receive in return Jermaine Palacios, a shortstop prospect who played last year in the Florida State League.
Odorizzi had been part of the massive 2013 trade with the Royals that brought Wil Myers to the Rays in exchange for James Shields and Wade Davis. In his five years in Tampa Bay he had a 3.82 ERA and a FIP of 4.22. He is owed $6.3 million this year after winning his arbitration case.
Palacios is a 21 year old Venezuelan who was signed by the Twins in 2013. He’s been a bit under the radar as a prospect. Fangraphs had this to say:
Palacios flopped with Low-A Cedar Rapids last year and did not look comfortable at the plate, but hit .320/.362/.544 in 62 games there to start this year and has footwork has been better and he’s been pulling the ball more. He puts a charge into the baseball with just a flick of his wrist and is producing surprising power for his size. There’s some skepticism about his range at short but he has infield actions and a plus arm, and several orgs think a lack of range can largely be hidden by improved defensive positioning.
Even if Palacios has potential, it is hard to look at this evening’s transactions - DFA of Dickerson and trade of Odorizzi for a prospect who is still years from having an impact — as anything but salary dump. Perhaps the Rays are making space on their payroll for other as-yet-unknown signings, but at this point it looks like they’ve saved $12 million at the expense of wins in 2018.