Monday, July 29, 2013
Rays get needed relief
By Jason Catania
By adding a reliever Monday, the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays joined the fray.
After the Atlanta Braves brought in lefty Scott Downs and the Detroit Tigers add closer-turned-setup man Jose Veras, the Rays became the third contender of the day to pick up bullpen help.
In a deal with the Chicago White Sox, Tampa -- who has won 21 of 25 to climb within a half-game of first place in the tightly-packed AL East -- acquired All-Star Jesse Crain, per Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine. The return going to Chicago is either players to be named later or cash considerations, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
The player personnel cost was low for the 32-year-old right-hander who has a 0.74 ERA on the year because Crain remains on the disabled list with a sore shoulder and hasn't pitched since June 29.
The Rays bullpen has been better since the early-season struggles of closer Fernando Rodney and top setup man Jake McGee, but the unit's ERA currently sits at 3.69 -- right in the middle of the pack at 16th-best in the league. Crain will be a welcome addition, once he's healthy enough to return, of course.
While Crain is due only about $2 million for the rest of 2013, it's fair to wonder whether this is the "big" move for the small-market Rays, who can't afford to take on much salary via trades, unless they include a player on their 25-man roster in another deal to help free up some money.