With the Shohei Ohtani press conference concluded, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now prepared to acquire Rays ace Tyler Glasnow and fourth outfielder Manuel Margot in exchange for two prospects.
Glasnow, entering his age-30 season, is being asked to sign an extension with the Dodgers in order for the deal to be finalized, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays are in agreement on a trade to send RHP Tyler Glasnow and OF Manuel Margot to the Dodgers for RHP Ryan Pepiot and OF Jonny Deluca -- contingent on Glasnow signing an extension with L.A., which is expected, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2023
Glasnow, a native of Santa Clarita on the north side of Los Angeles, has one year and $25 million remaining on his contract, while Manuel Margot has one year at $10 million with a $12 million team option.
The return for the two players is — as was rumored earlier this week — RHP Ryan Pepiot, who exceeded rookie limits in 2023, and prospect OF Jonny Deluca, which would seem to be a slight over-pay for the Dodgers. Perhaps that is why the Rays will send $4 million in cash to facilitate the deal, per Marc Topkin.
While it can be difficult to see a face of the franchise go out the door, it’s worth noting the CBS Sports’s R.J. Anderson is giving the trade an A grade for both teams.
The return is a good one
RHP Ryan Pepiot, entering his age 26 season, threw less than 65 innings last season, finishing the year with eight appearances at the major league level after his promotion on August 19, averaging more than five innings per appearance with a 2.14 ERA and 3.25 FIP, and with five of those appearances behind an Opener. Pepiot had previously made his major league debut in 2022, with seven starts over nine appearances (3.47 ERA, 4.31 FIP).
A third round pick in 2019, Pepiot is a big-bodied pitcher with a plus fastball and a plus-plus change, but has yet to find consistency in his slider. With his acquisition, it seems obvious the Rays have an idea of how to improve his breaking ball to assuage the reliver risk that comes with his profile.
Ryan Pepiot's 8th and 9th Ks.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 26, 2023
16 whiffs on his changeup. pic.twitter.com/trkq5WDGXX
OF Jonny Deluca made his major league debut in 2023, but retains his rookie eligibility. He’s a contact-oriented right handed hitter capable of covering all three outfield positions, but does not project for much power.
If you’re looking for Rays comparisons, he makes catches in the outfield like Sam Fuld, pulls the ball like Isaac Paredes, and hits for power like... well, Manuel Margot, reserving his power for left handed pitchers.
Baseball America rated Deluca as the best athlete in the Dodgers system earlier this off-season. As things stand, unless a veteran gives him competition in camp this Spring on a minor league contract, he should have an easy path to the Opening Day roster.