In the first big move of trade season, the Tampa Bay Rays have acquired Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for two minor leaguers. The Rays’ M.O. rarely includes rental players. However, they had a clear need for a middle of the order at bat as they look to try and overcome the Red Sox and defend their division crown. Nelson Cruz is a middle of the order bat. He’s hitting .294 with 33 extra base hits (19 homers).
The Twins return is two AAA starters, rated as the #10 and 17 prospects in their system—Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman. As an illustration of how deep the Rays farm system is, both have ERA’s under 4, and Ryan is pitching for the US Olympic team.
The Twins need starting pitchers, so I hope their new members do well. Of course I even more fervently hope the 41-year-old Cruz rakes down the stretch.