Tampa Bay Rays are trading left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarado as part of a three team deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Alvarado is being sent to the Phillies, while the Rays will receive minor league first baseman Dillon Paulson from Los Angeles, as well as a player to be named later. Meanwhile, left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger will be going from the Phillies to the Dodgers to complete the three team deal.
During the 2017 season, Alvarado became just one of three players in franchise history to make the jump from Double-A straight to the big leagues. He showcased an electric and almost physics defying fastball during his ascent to the backend of the Rays bullpen.
Unfortunately, Alvarado would deal with off the field issues, as well as injuries upon his return, that kept him from the Rays active roster for the majority of the 2019 season. Then, the pandemic shortened 2020 season seemed to have a significant effect on Alvarado as well. He made low-leverage relief appearances for the Rays in the playoffs but did not feature in the World Series.
Regarding the addition of Paulson, the Rays press release summarized his performance to date as follows:
Paulson, 23, has hit .253/.373/.464 (162-for-640) with 47 doubles, 26 home runs, 125 RBI and 124 walks over two minor league seasons (2018-19). In 2019, his only full minor league season, the left-handed hitter opened with Class-A Great Lakes and was named a Midwest League midseason All-Star before a July 18 promotion to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Between those two levels, he combined to hit .243/.366/.433 (101-for-416) with 27 doubles, 16 home runs, 64 RBI and 82 walks. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2018 June Draft out of the University of Southern California.
Paulson will be Rule 5 eligible next off-season so he has one year to prove himself in the Rays minor league system.
With the departure of Jose Alvarado, the Blake Snell trade can become finalized with the additions of Francisco Mejia and Luis Patino the Rays 40-man roster.