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Rays shake up 40-man with trade, roster moves

Two arms acquired in deal sending Peralta to Dodgers; Molina among DFA'd
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays conducted a lot of late-night business Thursday, making a four-player trade in addition to designating three players for assignment.

Once the smoke cleared, the Rays had set their 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the end of the upcoming Winter Meetings.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays conducted a lot of late-night business Thursday, making a four-player trade in addition to designating three players for assignment.

Once the smoke cleared, the Rays had set their 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the end of the upcoming Winter Meetings.

The Rays traded right-hander Joel Peralta and left-hander Adam Liberatore to the Dodgers for right-hander Jose Dominguez and Class A right-hander Greg Harris.

Scouting reports
Dominguez: Dominguez opened 2014 in the Dodgers bullpen, but was sent back to Triple-A after struggling out of the gate. In 31 appearances for Albuquerque, he struck out 39 batters and saved 10 games. Dominguez is one of the hardest throwers in the Minor Leagues. His fastball consistently sits at 98 mph and has often been recorded at over 100. He mixes in a slider and very occasionally shows a changeup. Dominguez has struggled with his command at times, averaging more than four walks per nine innings in his Minor League career. Injuries have brought each of his last two seasons to an early end (a strained quad in '13 and shoulder inflammation in '14) and he'll have to prove he can stay healthy to reach his potential in Rays bullpen.
Harris: The Dodgers selected Harris, the son of the former Major Leaguer of the same name, in the 17th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He spent his first full professional season with Class A Great Lakes, where he went 7-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 22 games. He struck out 92 batters and walked 28 in 87 innings. Harris pitches well off his fastball, which can reach 95 mph. He more typically throws it around 90 mph, but scouts think he can add velocity as he fills out his lanky, 6-foot-2 frame. He has improved his secondary pitches since being drafted and both his curveball and changeup show promise. Harris has an advanced feel for pitching, which has helped ease his transition to the professional ranks.
Top 20 Prospects: Rays | Dodgers
-- Teddy Cahill

Designated for assignment were veteran catcher Jose Molina, right-hander Michael Kohn and infielder Cole Figueroa.

Dominguez was added to the 40-man roster as were right-hander Matt Andriese, infielder Ryan Brett, left-hander Grayson Garvin, outfielder Mikie Mahtook and catcher Justin O'Conner.

"The roster deadline is always a busy day, and today we added six new players with very bright futures to our 40-man roster," said Chaim Bloom, vice president of baseball operations. "We also welcome Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris to the Rays. They're intriguing pitchers -- a reliever with electric stuff and a young starting pitching prospect -- and we look forward to their contributions in the years to come."

Since joining Tampa Bay in 2011, Peralta leads all Major League pitchers with 296 appearances and ranks second in the Majors with 115 holds, behind Tyler Clippard (124) of the Nationals. Peralta owns the franchise records in both categories.

Peralta, 38, ranked second on the Rays' staff with 69 appearances in 2014, despite the first DL stint (July 13-27, illness) of his 10-year Major League career. He finished the campaign at 3-4 with a 4.41 ERA and one save.

Peralta allowed only two of his 24 inherited runners to score, and he limited opponents to 0-for-25 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

Video: BOS@TB: Peralta sets record for Rays relief outings

The Rays now have 10 days to trade Molina or release him and eat his $2.75 million salary for 2015.

Molina, 39, is known as one of the Majors' best defensive catchers but has lagged on offense. He has thrown out 37 percent of basestealers in his career and is renown for his ability to frame pitches.

With Molina gone, the Rays catching duties will likely go to Ryan Hanigan and rookie Curt Casali, who would probably split time.

"Joel's significance to the Rays transcended his on-field performance. He was a clubhouse leader who always sought ways to make the organization better," said Matt Silverman, president of baseball operations. "We thank him and Jose Molina for their contributions and veteran leadership, and we will wish them well in their futures."

Dominguez, 24, made the Dodgers' Opening Day Roster and combined to make five appearances over four stints with Los Angeles in 2014, his second year of Major League action.

At Triple-A Albuquerque, he went 1-2 with 10 saves, a 3.24 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 31 appearances. He last pitched for the Isotopes on July 25, and returned from the disabled list to pitch twice for short-season Ogden in September. Over seven Minor League seasons, he has a 4.25 ERA and has averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings.

Harris, 20, spent the 2014 season with Class A Great Lakes and went 7-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 22 games (16 starts). He was selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. In two Minor League seasons, he is 9-9 with a 4.69 ERA.

Andriese, 25, spent the 2014 season at Triple-A Durham, going 11-8 with a 3.77 ERA in 28 appearances (25 starts). In his first year in Tampa Bay's system, he ranked second among Rays Minor Leaguers and fourth in the International League with 129 strikeouts. His 11 wins tied for second among Rays farmhands. He was acquired from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade following the 2013 season.

Brett, 23, was named Double-A Montgomery's 2014 Most Valuable Player by the Rays' baseball-operations department while earning spots on both the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams. Brett hit .303 with 25 doubles, eight home runs, 38 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 107 games. He has compiled a career .297 batting average over five Minor League seasons. He was selected by the Rays in the third round of the 2010 Draft.

Garvin, 25, spent the 2014 season at Montgomery, going 1-8 with a 3.77 ERA over a career-high 20 starts. The left-hander has a career 3.75 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 148 2/3 innings pitched over three Minor League seasons. He was selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2011 Draft (59th overall) out of Vanderbilt University.

Mahtook, 24, hit .292 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs in 132 games for Durham in 2014. He was named Durham's Most Valuable Player by the Rays' baseball-operations department while earning a spot on the International League midseason All-Star team. He was selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2011 Draft (31st overall) out of LSU and owns a career .274 batting average in three Minor League seasons.

Video: PER@SRR: O'Conner hits his second homer of the game

O'Conner, 22, split the 2014 season between Class A Charlotte and Montgomery, combining to hit .278 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs in 101 games. Between the two levels, he threw out 33 of 60 (55 percent) potential basestealers, leading to his recognition by the Rays' baseball-operations department as Defensive Player of the Year. He was selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2010 Draft (31st overall).

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Andriese, Ryan Brett, Jose Dominguez, Cole Figueroa, Grayson Garvin, Greg Harris, Michael Kohn, Adam Liberatore, Mikie Mahtook, Jose Molina, Justin O'Conner, Joel Peralta