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Tampa Bay Rays acquire OF Jordan Luplow, RHP DJ Johnson from Cleveland

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A fringe top-30 prospect lands two role players.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

It was an incredibly busy trading deadline all around the game and the Tampa Bay Rays were certainly a part of it, making two deals overall.

They made one of the first deals of the day when they acquired Shawn Armstrong from the Baltimore Orioles and they made one of the final deals of the day as Marc Topkin reported shortly after the 4:00pm deadline that the Rays acquired outfielder Jordan Luplow and right-handed pitcher DJ Johnson from the Cleveland [redacted] for minor league pitcher Peyton Battenfield.

Luplow has big league experience over each of the past five seasons, splitting time between Cleveland and the Pittsburgh Pirates. During the 2019 campaign, Luplow hit .276/.372/.551 with 15 HR over 261 plate appearances, accumulating 2.2 fWAR. However, the past two seasons have not been nearly as kind to him as he has collectively hit .182/.319/.403 with 9 HR over 213 plate appearances, accruing 0.6 fWAR.

He has been on the Injured List for the majority of the 2021 season as he has been dealing with a left ankle sprain, and had inconsistent playing time during the 2020 shortened season, but when healthy nd given the opportunity put up a 200 wRC+ vs left handed pitching back in the 2019 season (155 PA).

DJ Johnson is back with his original organization as the Tampa Bay Rays originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in June of 2010. However, his time with the team was short lived as he would released the following April and be picked up by an Independent League team, which would also be short lived, as he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks later on that Summer.

Johnson would spend the following few years interspersing time in affiliated ball with Independent League teams. He found his niche after joining the Colorado Rockies entering the 2017 season and worked his way to his big league debut in 2018. However, he would be in Japan for the 2020 season before joining Cleveland on a minor league contract prior to spring training in 2021.

He has pitched in one big league game for Cleveland this year, posting decent results in Triple-A, compiling a 3.32 ERA / 3.75 FIP with a 34.0 K% over 21 23 innings pitched.

Battenfield originally came to the Rays in the deal that sent right-handed pitcher Austin Pruitt to the Houston Astros. Among the top pitching prospects in their vaunted system, Battenfield earned a promotion to Double-A earlier this season has compiled a 2.72 ERA / 3.28 FIP over 36 13 innings pitched this season in Montgomery, putting him in the discussion for the Rays top-30 prospects.

To make room on the Rays 40-man roster, Tampa Bay has designated right-handed pitchers Jake Reed and Sean Poppen for assignment, both of which were recent additions.