The Minnesota Twins finally made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Maybe not for the pitcher everyone was expecting, but still a solid rotation addition.
The Minnesota Twins finally figured out a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. It wasn’t the trade that so many Twins fans were clamouring for, but it is still a move for a solid pitcher in Jake Odorizzi. To acquire Odorizzi the Twins are sending to the Rays shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios.
While some may be disappointed that the Twins missed out on Chris Archer, this is a very solid addition to the Twins rotation. In 2017, Odorizzi pitched 143.1 innings had a 4.14 ERA and a 8.0 K/9. Those aren’t lights out types of numbers but there were a few things that didn’t go right for Odorizzi in 2017 that seem to be very correctable.
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One of the first things is that Kevin Kiermaier was injured for the Rays for a good portion of the 2017 season. As Odorizzi moves to Minnesota he will have another outstanding defensive center fielder, Byron Buxton, backing him up in the outfield. Odorizzi also saw his home run rate spike from 0.96 in 2015, to 1.39 in 2016, and to 1.88 in 2017. Something that can hopefully be brought back under control for the right-hander.
On top of some very correctable things, Odorizzi has the type of four-seam fastball that has proven the ability to get swings and misses. Evidence of that starts with that 8.0 K/9 rate. It continues with the fact that in 2017 Odorizzi had the highest swing strike rate of his career at 11.2%. Looking at some of those aspects of Odorizzi’s pitching repertoire it becomes easy to see why many have wondered over the years if Odorizzi would become hands down, top of the rotation starter.
Also, don’t forget this Rays-Twins connection:
The Twins needed to do something to compliment Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios and this move does just that. And it did so at a very good price. The Twins were able to make this a one for one deal and only gave up shortstop prospect Palacios. As a top-20 prospect in the Twins system, there is a lot to be excited about in Palacios. With three other shortstop prospects ahead of him (Royce Lewis, Nick Gordon, and Wander Javier) he is a very expendable piece.
In the past two days, the Twins have added Odorizzi and Anibal Sanchez to their pitching staff. Both moves certainly add insurance with Santana’s injury. And if pitching coach Garvin Alston can help Odorizzi fix some of those weaknesses it could help the Twins have a solid top three starters for their rotation.