The Rays have traded Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for hitting prospect Jermaine Palacios. The Rays continue to sell off pieces, with the 27-year-old Odorizzi being the last piece to leave.
Odorizzi (265 ADP) is an acceptable fourth or fifth starter who has been average the past few seasons, with ERAs hovering around 4.00. This past season, he struck out 8.0 batters per nine, but the decent strikeout rate was offset by a 1.9 HR/9. He is an extreme flyball pitcher (31% GB%), which leads to two factors. First, in this juiced-ball era, he’s going to allow his fair share of home runs. The high home run total is offset by a low BABIP (.227), which is driven by easy-to-catch popups. The low BABIP helps keep his career 3.83 ERA below his ERA estimators (4.23 FIP, 4.34 xFIP).
With the Twins, Odorizzi should expect his results to be similar to the last two seasons, with a 8.0 K/9, 1.20 WHIP, and a 4.00 ERA. The Twins will be happy to get these stats.
As for the pitcher Odorizzi replaces, it’s tough to tell because the backend of the Twins rotation was not set. Odorizzi joins Adalberto Mejia, Phil Hughes, Aaron Slegers, Anibal Sanchez, and possibly Kyle Gibson, who may already have a spot locked up. It doesn’t matter which one is bumped out of the rotation, as none is a viable option … except in 20-team AL Central leagues.
As for the Rays’ return in the trade, they picked up Jermaine Palacios. Palacios is not highly regarded, so little information exists on him. MLB.com had him as the Twins’ No. 27-ranked prospect at the end of the season. Baseball America didn’t have him in the Twins’ top-30. The fringe-average prospect looks to be a defense-first player with the chance to improve. At best, he could barely be league average. As for now, he doesn’t look to be a factor for the 2018 season.
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