The Tampa Bay Rays have added to their bullpen depth while helping the Dodgers clear a roster spot just ahead of tomorrow's trade deadline.
Garrett Cleavinger is a 28-year old reliever in his eight season of professional baseball, with 27 total appearances over the last three seasons, including 4 this season with the Dodgers. Cleavinger was previously part of the three-team deal that sent Jose Alvarado from the Rays to the Phillies after the 2020 season. Before that, he was part of the Jeremy Hellickson trade between Philly and Baltimore.
Cleavinger has a fastball-curveball profile, where the fastball can touch 99 mph, and the breaking ball is 60-grade. Like many Rays relievers, he also throws from an atypical arm slot. According to Baseball America, he has no discernible split thus far:
He’s been effective against righthanded hitters (.197/.337/.324) as well as lefties (.182/.289/.384) in Triple-A. Cleavinger has an option remaining, which adds to his value in an up-and-down relief role.
This acquisition does not help the roster crunch coming this fall, and should thereby not be considered a consolidation trade. In a corresponding move the Rays designated RHP Luke Bard for assignment.
The return for Cleavinger is 18-year old outfielder German Tapia, the organization's top performer on offense in the Dominican Summer League, where he has a .329 AVG, .500 OBP, and 166 wRC+ through 26 games (100 PA). Baseball America reports Tapia, "was not viewed as one of the best prospects on either of the Rays’ two Dominican Summer League clubs."
Cleavinger will begin his Rays career with Triple-A Durham.