HomeSportsRays find a starting...

Rays find a starting pitcher, acquire Aaron Civale from Cleveland


NEW YORK — The Rays found a way to address their biggest need on Monday in acquiring an established starting pitcher, right-hander Aaron Civale, from Cleveland.

And they showed a willingness to pay a high price to do so, giving up one of their most promising young hitters, Kyle Manzardo, a top-40 prospect in the game.

The Rays saw Civale as the right fit because of what he has already done during parts of five seasons in the majors, how well he is pitching now and what they expect him to do the rest of this year, while also having him under control for the next two seasons as well. Civale is expected to join the rotation Saturday at Detroit, taking the place of rookie Taj Bradley, who was sent back to Triple A.

“This was the most obvious need we had. … It didn’t look like it was going to be an easy deadline to line up on what we needed most. This is the big item for us,” baseball operations president Erik Neander said from Tropicana Field.

“This is a really good pitcher that has been a really good pitcher. It’s not one where we just think it’s in front of him but it hasn’t been behind him. This is somebody that’s done it and he’s been doing it at a really, really high level here recently.”

And, as an additional benefit, Rays bosses hope the move will provide a jolt to a team that compiled the majors’ best record through the first three months of the season but struggled mightily in July, starting 5-15 before winning three of its last four, including 5-1 Monday over the Yankees.

“Our players want to win. I think the way our team is built, I think they’d all probably agree this is a way to really help us do that,” Neander said. “July has been a tough month. There’s no way around it. It’s been a really challenging month — the ball hasn’t bounced our way.

“We got a huge series win at Houston this weekend. And maybe that combined with bringing in a pitcher like Aaron can just put a little energy back in this thing and send these guys on their way, It’d be nice way for this to play out. Players play to win, we play to win. There was an opportunity to help this team right now by parting with a really good prospect and we felt it’s worth it.”

Kyle Manzardo was part of a logjam of players who can play first base for the Rays. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Civale, 28, will be an experienced addition to the Rays’ injury-depleted rotation, having compiled a 29-23, 3.77 record over parts of five seasons with Cleveland. After missing most of April and May with an oblique strain, Civale has been on a tremendous run, going 4-1, 2.24 in his last 11 starts, and 3-0, 1.45 over his last six including six shutout innings Sunday.

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Civale’s cutter and curveball, which according to some metrics and Cleveland manager Terry Francona is among the game’s best, are the top weapons in a six-pitch repertoire. He doesn’t throw overly hard or strike out a high amount of hitters but, much like Zach Eflin, features tremendous command.

“This is someone that can really pitch,” Neander said. “The cutter and the curveball are plus pitches that he can really work off of. He commands everything. He has a really good feel how to use this stuff. He’s been a really good pitcher, plain and simple, that we have the opportunity to have for a few years here.

“I don’t think it’s all that complicated. He’s been really effective. We needed an effective starter, and get a chance to have one for a few years.”

Civale has not been the most durable starter. He was sidelined with a sprained middle finger in 2021 and served three injured list stints last year (left glute soreness, right wrist sprain, right forearm inflammation). He hasn’t pitched more than 124 innings in any major-league season.

Civale is making $2.6 million this season in the first of three years of arbitration eligibility, and the additional control made it more palatable for the Rays to give up Manzardo.

The 23-year-old lefty swinger quickly emerged as one of the game’s top prospects with an impressive 2022 season at Class-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery, ranked No. 37 by MLB Pipeline and chosen for the recent All-Star Futures Game. He was still adjusting to Triple-A pitching this season (.238, 11 homers, 38 RBIs, .784 OPS, in 73 games) when he was sidelined by a sore left shoulder in early July, but is expected to return to action soon.

The Rays do have several other left-handed hitting first basemen in the system, including Jonathan Aranda, Austin Shenton and 2022 top pick Xavier Isaac.

“He’s a really really good hitter, a really good prospect,” Neander said. “I think it’s just the cost of doing business. I think it’s made a little bit easier with (All-Star first baseman Yandy Diaz) being on an extension. You have players like Aranda, Austin Shenton is in Triple A now, you have some left-handed hitters that are making the most of opportunities here this season. That certainly helps. So an area of depth, so to speak, I think, within our system.”

With their biggest need filled, the Rays will continue to work until Tuesday’s 6 p.m. deadline at other trade options, with potential needs for relief and catching help.

• • •

Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter to get daily updates on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida.

Never miss out on the latest with your favorite Tampa Bay sports teams. Follow our coverage on Twitter and Facebook.





Source link

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Fever select Caitlin Clark with No. 1 pick in WNBA Draft

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Eight days after completing one of the greatest collegiate basketball careers ever recorded, Caitlin Clark was selected with the No. 1 pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.Clark is poised to not only help the Fever return to the postseason for...

In 1998, Bollywood star killed two blackbucks. A gang still seeks revenge.

Khan has been in the crosshairs of an armed gang since 1998 for shooting two blackbucks on a recreational hunting trip.Two members of a notorious criminal gang have been arrested for firing at the home of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in apparent retaliation for the superstar’s...

14 More Games Land on PS Plus Extra, Premium Today

As always, we ran a Poll over the weekend to gather your thoughts on the line-up, and (almost) as always, one-third of you responded by saying "it's a crap selection". 26 per cent of voters were at least somewhat happy with the selection, with Dave the...

Where Biden’s billions in chipmaking money have gone — and what could be next

The White House announcement this week of up to $6.4 billion in chipmaking cash for Samsung (005930.KS) marks a move to the next phase of the Biden administration's effort to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the US.The focus so far has largely been on leading-edge logic...

WNBA expansion headed for 16 teams. Portland, Toronto and Philly are options

NEW YORK — The WNBA is looking to continue growing in the next few years. The league intends to reach 16 teams by 2028, commissioner Cathy Engelbert said before the draft, confirming The Athletic report from earlier Monday.The league announced earlier this year that the Bay...

Microsoft Makes High-Stakes Play in Tech Cold War With Emirati A.I. Deal

Microsoft on Tuesday said it would make a $1.5 billion investment in G42, an artificial intelligence giant in the United Arab Emirates, in a deal largely orchestrated by the Biden administration to box out China as Washington and Beijing battle over who will exercise technological influence...

A hockey puck hurtled toward her son’s head. A fan jumped to block it.

Just over a minute was left on the clock during a hockey game in Cleveland Thursday when a player struck the puck, sending it barreling into the stands and toward Asia Davis’s 4-year-old son. That’s when another fan jumped and extended his right arm to block...

Thailand’s Finance Ministry to lead 17 agencies in considering House report on legalizing casinos

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance has been appointed lead agency to consider a House committee study recommending the legalization of casino gaming but will work with 16 other agencies in doing so, local media reports. According to English-language outlet The Nation, the appointment was ordered by way of...

WWE RAW Results Coverage, Reactions and Highlights for April 15, 2024

It’s Monday night, and you know what that means! WWE RAW will go down tonight, and Ringside News has got you covered with live play-by-play results coverage for the April 15, 2024 episode. The start time for WWE RAW is 8:00 PM EST. Match-by-match highlights...

Coachella Weekend 1 Recap, J Balvin’s Out Of This World Coachella Set, Metro Boomin & Future Top Hot 100 | Billboard News

It’s Monday April 15th, Billboard counts down the top 10 on the Hot 100, we’re running down all the headliners and special guest performers and some notable audience members that went down at the first weekend of Coachella, J Balvin gives us a behind the scene...