The Twins add a starter in Jake Odorizzi, but send shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios to the Rays as they look to start rebuilding.
Well, this is one is a bit of a head-scratcher. Late Saturday night, the Minnesota Twins acquired starter Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios.
The Twins land the starter they were looking for in Odorizzi, and he’ll likely be Minnesota’s opening day starter, but the return for the Rays is slightly confusing. Especially when you factor in Tampa Bay randomly designating All-Star DH/OF Corey Dickerson for assignment.
The Rays essentially replace Dickerson for a young, cheaper option at DH in C.J. Cron, but the team didn’t need to clear a roster spot because they traded Odorizzi for a player who wasn’t on a 40-man roster. This move could mean the writing is on the wall for Chris Archer, who was thought to be a potential target for the Twins as well as a few other teams.
As for Palacios, he is a 21-year-old shortstop who hasn’t made it past high A in the Twins system. According to Fangraphs, Palacios slashed .269/.303/.359 with a strikeout rate of 20.2 percent in A+ last season. His splits with the Twins A club were better, .320/.362/.544, so there’s room to grow but still, this deal is rather confusing.
It’s possible that the market for Odorizzi, while clearly there, might not have been as enticing as originally reported. The soon to be 28-year-old righty in Odorizzi did have an awful 2017 season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA with 15.5 percent walk rate.
For the Twins, this is a great deal for a team that needed to add another arm to their rotation. Odorizzi, despite his trying 2017, he had two sub-four ERA seasons in ’15 and ’16 and could bounce back on a team that looks primed to win in 2018.
But for the Rays, these series of moves still don’t add quite yet. Rays general manager Eric Nelander implied that DFA-ing Dickerson was an attempt to kick-start the market for the All-Star DH. But Palacios seems like a player that’s likely a few season off from contributing on the major league level.
Two teams heading in different directions, and for the Twins it’s a sign of the end of their rebuilding period. But for the Rays, it’s likely the start of a re-tooling or potentially a full rebuild.