The Rays dealt from a position of strength and with an eye on the future on Friday, when they acquired two pitchers and the 39th pick in the 2019 Draft as part of a three-team trade with the A's and Rangers. If you're keeping score at home, don't. At least not for another couple of years. In trading three Minor League pitchers to the Rangers, the Rays set themselves up to have four of the top 61 Draft choices next summer.
The Rays also acquired right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan, who appeared in 55 games for the A's last season, and Texas Minor League pitcher Rollie Lacy. In the end, though, it was the Draft pick that could have the greatest impact. It had a slot value of $1.88 million in the 2018 Draft.
"We place a lot of value in the pick itself, place a lot of value on Emilio Pagan," Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander said. "There are some things we're hopeful [pitching coach Kyle Snyder] can help him on."
The Rays traded pitchers Brock Burke, Kyle Bird and Yoel Espinal to the Rangers. Burke and Bird were on the 40-man roster, and moving them cleared a spot for newly signed free-agent Charlie Morton. In addition, the Rangers traded infielder Jurickson Profar to the A's for Minor League infielder Eli White and cash.
Pagan, 27, had a 4.35 ERA with the A's in 2018. Lacy, 23, had a 2.97 ERA and averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings in 24 appearances for the Cubs and Rangers, all at Class A.
"He had a really strong season in 2017," Neander said of Pagan. "More ups and downs in 2018. Some challenges keeping the ball in the park [13 home runs in 62 innings]. This is a guy who can really pitch with his fastball, and he's kind of working on finding the right secondary mix. We can potentially help him with that. We saw it as a chance to get a Major League pitching arm."