The Tampa Bay Rays are acquiring first baseman Jesus Aguilar from the Milwaukee Brewers per a report from Jeff Passan of ESPN. Others are reporting that the Rays are sending right-handed pitcher Jacob Faria back to the Brewers as the return.
It was reported last week that the Rays were interested in adding the slugging Aguilar, who is hitting .225/.320/.374 with 8 HR over 262 plate appearances. However, he broke in a big way during the 2018 season, in which he mashed 35 HR and slugged .539. Although 2019 has been a disappointment, Aguilar has been on a tear as of late, posting 131 wRC+ over the month of July.
Aguilar is under team control through the 2023 season, and he’ll be entering arbitration for the first time this upcoming offseason.
Jacob Faria was drafted in the tenth round of the 2011 draft, and made his way slowly through the Rays organization. He made his major league debut in 2017, an impressive three-hit effort. His rookie campaign was solid, but he was shakier (and lost time to injury) in 2018. Since then he’s split time between St. Petersburg and Durham, and been moved between starting and bullpen roles.
Faria has not seemed to have a clear role with the Rays; this trade is hardly shocking. It’s possible that he will be able to build on his repertoire of 94mph fastball, decent change up and occasional slider to have a strong career moving forward.
While Faria has seldom been dominant on the mound, he has been a popular figure, one who is accessible to fans and involved in his community. His wife, Jessica, was active in the Rays Wives group during her time in St. Petersburg. I’m sure all Rays fans wish them well.
Jacob had a little boy next to him on a flight who was scared to fly & coincidently going to play at Cooperstown. He kept falling asleep on Jacob, so he let him sleep & later talked to him about baseball to keep him distracted. This is my husband. This is why I’m proud of him. pic.twitter.com/Kk2wvTumjS— Jessica Faria (@jessjfaria) July 16, 2019