The Diamondbacks have acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Andriese from the Rays in exchange for two prospects, catcher Michael Perez and pitcher Brandon Shaffer. The Athletic’s Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal and the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin were the first to break news of the trade Wednesday:
Andriese was the second pitcher dealt by the Rays Wednesday, as they traded starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Red Sox for lefty Jalen Beeks prior to their game against the Yankees. Both moves continue a season-long firesale for the perpetually rebuilding Rays, who have continued selling off any and all assets despite remaining over .500 (they sit at 52-50 following Wednesday’s win). After trading franchise icon Evan Longoria, starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and starting outfielders Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza Jr. prior to the start of the season, they’ve dealt outfielder Denard Span, closer Alex Colome, and infielder Brad Miller, and rumors persist that they’ll deal staff ace Chris Archer and All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos prior to the deadline.
The 28-year-old Andriese was primarily a starter up until this season but has been shifted to the bullpen in 2018 as the Rays have embraced the “bullpening” approach to pitching staff management. He has a 4.30 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 99 career appearances, and his numbers this year are very similar: Over 27 appearances, including four starts, he has a 4.07 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 59 strikeouts and 18 walks over 59.2 innings. While he’ll likely slot into the Diamondbacks’ bullpen to start, Andriese certainly could serve as rotation depth for the remainder of the season. It’s distinctly possible that the Diamondbacks could look to make a change in their rotation over the season’s final two months; Clay Bunchholz recently returned to fill Arizona’s fifth starter slot, but Zack Godley and Robbie Ray have struggled, as has Shelby Miller, who is currently on the DL.
Shaffer was ranked as the Diamondbacks’ No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while Perez — a 25-year-old in Triple-A — was unranked. Shaffer, a right-hander who was selected out of Maryland in the sixth round of last year’s draft, has posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 19 starts at High-A Visalia this season. Perez, a left-handed hitter who was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, has posted a strong .284/.342/.417 slash line with six homers while splitting time with big-league veteran Anthony Recker in his first full season at the Triple-A level.
Right-hander Randall Delgado, who possesses a similar skill set to Andriese and had been with the Diamondbacks since the 2013 season, was designated for assignment to make room for Andriese on the 40-man roster. The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has been one of the best in the majors this season — they have a collective 2.94 ERA, which ranks third behind only the Yankees and Astros — but obviously the front office must have felt that Andriese would provide an incremental upgrade over Delgado in a primarily low-leverage, multi-inning role.