The Dodgers traded right-handed pitcher John Ely to the Astros for left-handed Minor League pitcher Rob Rasmussen, both clubs announced Wednesday.
Prospect acquired by Dodgers
Rob Rasmussen: Rasmussen, ranked No. 17 on the Astros' Top 20 prospects list at the time of the trade, is no stranger to being dealt. In July 2012, he was shipped from the Marlins, who had taken the UCLA lefty in the second round of the 2010 Draft, to the Astros in the Carlos Lee deal. When locked in, Rasmussen has a good combination of stuff and pitchabiilty, though a lack of command has hurt his progression. He gets good sink on his fastball and complements it with good breaking and offspeed stuff. He has the chance to be an effective starter in the middle or back of a big league rotation, with improved overall command. If not, he could be destined for the bullpen as a left-handed reliever.
In the trade, the Astros get pitching depth and some Major League experience. Ely has pitched in 25 Major League games, 19 starts, over three seasons, and achieved outstanding Triple-A numbers last season. The Dodgers' Minor League system gets a young starter in Rasmussen, and the Dodgers were able to clear a spot on their 40-man Major League roster.
Ely, 26, is 4-13 with a 5.70 ERA over three seasons with the Dodgers after being acquired from the White Sox, who selected him in the third round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Ely spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he went 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and led the Pacific Coast League in ERA, strikeouts (165) and WHIP -- walks and hits per innings pitched (1.10). He also tied for the league in wins and ranked second in innings pitched, with 168 2/3.
Rasmussen, 23, a native of Arcadia, Calif., and a former standout at UCLA, was the Marlins' second-round pick in 2010. The Astros acquired him on July 4, 2012, as part of the deal that sent Carlos Lee to Miami. Rasmussen went 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012, and is 20-21 with a 3.88 ERA in 60 career games, including 53 starts.
It could be called a case of the Dodgers finally getting their man. Los Angeles selected Rasmussen out of Polytechnic High School in Pasadena, Calif., in the 27th round of the 2007 Draft, but he opted to go to UCLA.
The Dodgers have 39 players on their Major League roster, one below the limit.
The Astros also announced that right-handed pitcher Mickey Storey, designated for assignment on Monday, was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays. To make room for Ely, Houston designated outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin for assignment.
It marks the third time this winter that Storey, 26, has been claimed off waivers since the Astros designated him for assignment after the 2012 season. He was claimed by the Yankees on Nov. 20, the Astros on Dec. 6 and now the Blue Jays.