The stripping down of the already thin Tampa Bay Rays roster continued Saturday night as they dealt young right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins for minor-league shortstop Jermaine Palacios.
Odorizzi, 27, is the second pitcher the Twins have added to their roster this week after signing free agent veteran Anibal Sanchez earlier in the week. These moves come off the heels of the news that Minnesota would be without its top starter, Ervin Santana, to start the season due to surgery on his finger. With Santana out, Phil Hughes returning from thoracic outlet surgery, and Michael Pineda recovering from Tommy John surgery, Odorizzi gives the Twins the depth in the rotation they so desperately needed.
In 2017 Odorizzi made 28 starts for the Rays, going 10-8 with an ERA of 4.14 in 143.1 innings pitched. He missed some time late last season due to a lower back strain which prevented him from potentially repeating his performance in the 2016 season in which his made 33 starts and pitched 187.2 innings, both career highs.
Palacios, 21, put up impressive numbers last season in Low-A Cedar Rapids, slashing .320/.362/.554 with 11 home runs in 62 games played. He was later promoted to High-A Fort Myers where he also played in 62 games, but slashed an underwhelming .269/.303/.359 in that span. However, at just 21 years of age Palacios still shows promise and could find an easier path to the majors in Tampa than he would have had he stayed in Minnesota.
Jake Odorizzi is just the latest talent to be shipped away from Tampa as part of a rebuilding process that Rays fans are, sadly, all too familiar with.