Arizona Adds Some Controllable Relief Help in Matt Andriese

In the second trade executed by the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office on Wednesday, controllable righty reliever Matt Andriese will head to Arizona in exchange for a pair of prospects; right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer and catcher Michael PerezRandall Delgado was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.

I love this move for the Diamondbacks. While the back-end of the bullpen has been very good, the middle relief corps have been rather lackluster, as Delgado and Jorge De La Rosa have struggled mightily. Andriese not only gives the Diamondbacks some help for the stretch run, but for the next three and a half years, as he’s controlled via arbitration through 2021. Over 59.2 innings used as a starter and reliever, the nearly 29-year old holds a 4.07 ERA with a 3.71 FIP and a 1.223 WHIP.

He is very good at generating groundballs (50.6%) and brings with him a four pitch arsenal including a low-90’s fastball, a change, a curve and a cutter, which he doesn’t throw that often, but is serviceable. He’s an ideal playoff reliever, as he can comfortably go multiple innings in a single appearance, and should help the snakes in the dog fight that is the National League playoff picture.

As for the return, the pair is headlined by Shaffer, a sixth-round pick in 2017. While he doesn’t have much in regard to stuff, the control is elite. Over 130.2 innings pitched in the minor leagues, he holds an insane 1.5 BB/9. I would place his ceiling as that of a workhorse mid-rotation starter, a la Mark Buehrlebut my biggest concern with him is that upper level hitters will have an easier time hitting him simply based on his lack of “stuff,” which could leave him as a swingman, spot starter. He’s still just 21-years old and in Class A, therefore, he is probably a good three seasons away from the majors, but a realistic expectation is a four/five Brandon McCarthy type.

The @Dbacks and @RaysBaseball agreed on a trade that sent reliever Matt Andriese to Arizona on Wednesday.Click To Tweet

As for Perez, he is a 25-year-old catcher in the Pacific Coast League currently slashing .284/.342/.417 over 240 plate appearances. He simply strikes me as a serviceable third catcher based on his average glove behind the plate, and average to slightly above average hit tool. While he has hit six home runs this season, keep in mind, he was playing in the hitter friendly PCL.

I would consider him to be a five to seven home run a year guy coming off of the bench with a .240/.310/.400 line over about 150-200 plate appearances a season. He could see some time in the majors this season, as he seems like a better option than Adam Moore.

In the case of Delgado, the 28-year old recently returned from the disabled list to post a 5.14 ERA with a 7.59 FIP. He was slated to become a free agent at the end of the season anyway, therefore the Diamondbacks would have had to replace him at season’s end regardless. The veteran swingman has posted a career 4.10 ERA over 538.1 innings pitching as both a starter and as a reliever. He should catch on rather quickly, especially seeing as how sellers will need people to eat innings following next Tuesday’s deadline.

Keep a close eye on Shaffer as he rises through the minor leagues, as he has the potential to be a very solid and durable workhorse starter, assuming he can continue this pace. The control is very encouraging. While he may have been a reasonably high price to pay, the D-backs got a controllable piece who fits on their roster perfectly and will certainly help them in both the Wild Card or NL West race.

Leave a Reply