LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For the second time in as many days, the Rays made a deal at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.On Tuesday, the Rays announced that they acquired infielder Ryan Schimpf from the Padres in exchange for Minor League infielder Deion Tansel. On Monday, Tampa Bay acquired
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For the second time in as many days, the Rays made a deal at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.
On Tuesday, the Rays announced that they acquired infielder Ryan Schimpf from the Padres in exchange for Minor League infielder Deion Tansel. On Monday, Tampa Bay acquired infielder Joey Wendle from the A's in exchange for a player to be named.
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The additions of Schimpf, Wendle and Micah Johnson have given the Rays three players who can play second base, all have options and each hits left-handed. Rays general manager Erik Neander told reporters not to read too much into that oddity, calling the roundup a "matter of opportunity." He pointed out that the price paid for each "made sense," while adding that a "fresh start" might just play out well for one or all of them.
Neander also said that the acquisitions should not be viewed as acquiring players to offset the potential exits of others.
Schimpf, 29, has spent parts of the past two seasons in the Major Leagues, batting .195/.317/.492 with 19 doubles, 34 home runs and 76 RBIs in 142 games. He has made 126 starts at various positions, including 66 at second base, 58 at third base, one in left field and one at designated hitter.
In Schimpf's career, 67.4 percent of his hits have gone for extra bases, the highest ratio in the Majors (minimum 500 plate appearances) over that span (since 2016). In addition, his 12.97 AB/HR ratio over the past two seasons ranks sixth in the Majors, and third in the National League (minimum 500 plate appearances) behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.74) and Cody Bellinger (12.31).
Neander complimented Schimpf's power, but acknowledged the tradeoff by saying, "His skill set rests on the extreme of the spectrum."
Schimpf began last season as the Padres' starting third baseman and hit .158/.284/.424 with 14 home runs and 25 RBIs in 53 games (47 starts). Through the end of May, the left-handed batter led San Diego and was tied for fifth in the NL with 14 home runs. He was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on June 9 and remained there through the end of the season, batting .202/.311/.475 with 19 home runs and 44 RBIs.
Tansel, 23, hit .280/.345/.392 with four home runs and 43 RBIs in 85 games over parts of two seasons in the Rays' organization. He spent last season with Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley, batting .277/.336/.403 with three home runs and 33 RBIs in 53 games.
He was selected by the Rays in the 32nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Toledo.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.