The Rays are getting their right-handed bat.
The Milwaukee Brewers have traded right-handed hitting first baseman Jesus Aguilar to the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Right-hander Jake Faria heads back to Milwaukee.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar has been traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Tampa Bay Rays, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
Right-hander Jacob Faria is headed back to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jesus Aguilar deal, a source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
Aguilar, 29, was an international signing of the Indians in 2007. He made his big-league debut in 2014 but appeared in just 35 games at the major league level between 2014 and 2016. In 2017, he was claimed off waivers by the Brewers and had an instant impact. In 2018, Aguilar was named to the National League All-Star team and finished 16th in MVP voting.
In 94 games this season, Aguilar is slashing .225.320.374 with 34 runs knocked in on 50 hits, including eight homers. He hit 35 homers in 2018, so the power is there — it just needs to be discovered again. Aguilar has walked 39 times and struck out 59 times this season.
Aguilar is under contract through 2022, when he is no longer eligible for arbitration, so this could work out well for Tampa, as they get the right-handed slugger they have been needing. (They had also looked into players like Hunter Pence.)
Meanwhile, heading back to Milwaukee, Faria is a 26-year-old right-hander drafted in the 10th round of the 2011 draft who made his debut in 2017. He started 26 of the 33 games he was featured in from 2017 to 2018, but all seven of his 2019 appearances have been out of the bullpen. He has been playing in Triple-A as of late, appearing in 23 games but starting just seven. Faria is under contract through 2023.
At Triple-A this year, Faria is 6-2 with a 4.07 ERA. He has allowed 29 runs on 55 hits, including eight homers, while walking 26 batters and striking out 74 in 59.2 innings. Meanwhile, through 10 major-league innings this season, he has a 2.70 ERA and has allowed three runs on 10 hits, including a pair of homers, while striking out 11 opponents and walking seven.
While these contender-and-contender trades aren’t the blockbuster trades that shock the world, it’s still interesting to see two teams with notable gaps on their rosters agreeing to a deal withe each other to improve their playoff chances.