MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - INSIDE PITCH


At long last, the Rays received some resolution Thursday afternoon as lefty ace David Price, a constant in trade rumors dating back to at least last October, was dealt in a three-team blockbuster deal just before the trade deadline.

Price acknowledged the deal Thursday on his official Twitter account, sending thanks to Tampa fans:

"wow...what a day!! Rays fans THANK YOU!! Great Chapter of my life just ended...ready to start a new one with the Tigers!! Thanks again"

Tampa Bay received left-hander Drew Smyly and infield prospect Willy Adames from the Tigers and infielder Nick Franklin from the Mariners, while Detroit acquired Price and sent center fielder Austin Jackson to Seattle.

"Obviously, all three guys were really important to us in the transaction, and we were excited to acquire all three," Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, told MLB.com.

The 25-year-old Smyly, who started for the Tigers Thursday and allowed four runs and 11 hits in five innings, was 16-12 with a 3.46 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Tigers. He moves into the Rays' starting rotation and is expected to make his first start Tuesday at Oakland.

"We'll spot him into our rotation immediately," said Friedman. "He's a guy that we feel like has excellent command, good secondary stuff, and we still feel like there's upside remaining with him. He's a guy we're excited to get. (He has) four more years of control, and we feel like he'll slot in really well with our four other guys and will allow us to continue to have our rotation be a strength for us."

Franklin will start off in Triple-A Durham. He hit .214 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs in 119 games with the Mariners, but he spent most of this season in the minors due to the arrival of All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano in Seattle.

Though he has primarily played second base (101 games), Franklin has also played shortstop, right field and third base at the major league level.

Adames is also headed to the minors, joining Class A Bowling Green of the Midwest League, the same league where he was hitting .269 with six home runs and 50 RBIs for Detroit affiliate West Michigan.

"He's really an interesting prospect," Friedman said. "He's the youngest position player in the Midwest League. He's a shortstop with a really good arm. ... His ability in the batter's box really stands out to us, and he has a chance to be a really good player."

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 53-55

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Angels (RHP Matt Shoemaker, 8-3, 4.13 ERA) at Rays (RHP Jeremy Hellickson, 0-0, 1.00 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LHP David Price was traded to the Detroit Tigers in a blockbuster, three-team deal that also included the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers gave up CF Austin Jackson, LHP Drew Smyly and SS Willy Adames. "The opportunity to add a guy like David Price doesn't come along very often," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He's that good. If we win, I'll be very satisfied."

--LHP Drew Smyly was acquired along with infield prospect Willy Adames from the Tigers and INF Nick Franklin from the Mariners for LHP David Price. The 25-year-old Smyly, who started for the Tigers Thursday and allowed four runs and 11 hits in five innings, was 16-12 with a 3.46 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Tigers. He moves into the Rays' starting rotation and is expected to make his first start Tuesday at Oakland.

--INF Nick Franklin was acquired from the Mariners in a blockbuster three-team deal for LHP David Price. Franklin will start off in Triple-A Durham. He hit .214 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs in 119 games with the Mariners, but he spent most of this season in the minors due to the arrival of All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano in Seattle. Though he has primarily played second base (101 games), Franklin has also played shortstop, right field and third base at the major league level.

--INF prospect Willy Adames was acquired along with LHP Drew Smyly from the Tigers and INF Nick Franklin from the Mariners for ace LHP David Price. Adames is headed to the minors, joining Class A Bowling Green of the Midwest League. He was hitting .269 with six home runs and 50 RBIs for Detroit affiliate West Michigan this season.

--1B James Loney extended his on-base streak to 19 games on Wednesday with a seventh-inning single in a 5-0 loss to the Brewers. Loney's .280 average is well below the .299 mark he reached with the Rays last season, his first with Tampa Bay, and his .339 on-base percentage is roughly in line with his career average. More concerning is his .370 slugging percentage, a product of his five homers, compared to 13 a year ago.

--C Ryan Hanigan will work out with the Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field. Hanigan (left oblique strain) had hoped to begin playing minor league rehabilitation games on Wednesday and rejoin Tampa Bay for the weekend series against the Angels, but instead he will be held back a bit. If all goes well, Hanigan could play two minor league games over the weekend and travel with the Rays on a 10-game trip beginning Monday in Oakland.

--SS Yunel Escobar committed his 10th error of the season in the Rays' 5-0 loss to the Brewers. Escobar recorded seven errors last season. Escobar has hit well since returning from the 15-day disabled list, and his defense has mostly been improved. But Escobar also has been ejected twice -- on July 23 and again on Tuesday for arguing balls and strikes.

--RHP Jeremy Hellickson will make his third start of the season Friday. He is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five previous appearances (four starts) against the Angels, having won each of his last three starts. Hellickson would like to pitch deeper into Friday's series opener than he has in his first two starts of the year, but he is pleased with the way he's felt. Specifically, after offseason surgery, his healthy right elbow has allowed him to utilize his curveball much better than in an ugly 2013 season. Hellickson said he is still searching for his fastball command and a consistent arm slot but feels confident that will come with time.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Tampa is excited to have me, so I'm excited to be there." -- LHP Drew Smyly, who was acquired from the Tigers in a three-team deal, told MLB.com.

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - ROSTER REPORT


MEDICAL WATCH:

--C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 9. He ran the bases and caught a bullpen session July 25. He will work out with the Rays on Aug. 1 at Tropicana Field. If all goes well, Hanigan could play two minor league games over the weekend and travel with the Rays to Oakland on Aug. 4.

--RF Wil Myers (right wrist sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 31, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 18. It was decided June 3 that he would not need surgery, although he was in a cast until it was removed in mid-July. He hit off a tee for first time July 25. He might return in mid-August. Myers expects to take live batting practice Aug. 2.

--INF/OF Jerry Sands (strained tendon in left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list June 23. He underwent season-ending surgery July 22.

--DH David DeJesus (fractured left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list June 19. His brace has been removed but as of July 29, he still was unable to swing a bat. He might return in early to mid-August.

--SS Tim Beckham (right knee surgery in December 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 30, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 1. He was training with the Rays' high Class A club as of mid-April. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on July 21.

--LHP Matt Moore (left elbow surgery in April 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list April 8, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 27. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Chris Archer

RHP Jake Odorizzi

RHP Alex Cobb

RHP Jeremy Hellickson

LHP Drew Smyly

BULLPEN:

LHP Jake McGee (closer)

RHP Joel Peralta

RHP Kirby Yates

RHP Grant Balfour

RHP Brad Boxberger

LHP Cesar Ramos

LHP Jeff Beliveau

CATCHERS:

Jose Molina

Curt Casali

INFIELDERS:

1B James Loney

2B Logan Forsythe

SS Yunel Escobar

3B Evan Longoria

INF Cole Figueroa

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Matt Joyce

CF Desmond Jennings

RF Ben Zobrist

OF/INF Sean Rodriguez

OF Kevin Kiermaier

OF Brandon Guyer