The Tampa Bay Rays needed to make a move to improve the offense. With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Tampa Bay Rays went out and acquired Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins.
The Rays send Minnesota two excellent pitching prospects in Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman to Minnesota. In return the Rays acquire Nelson Cruz and minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher.
Both Ryan and Strotman were both top 20 prospects in the Rays organization.
Ryan will be one of the starters for Team USA baseball at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.
The 41-year-old Cruz is hitting .294 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI’s this season. Cruz is a seven-time All-Star, and his right-handed bat will fit very well in the middle of the Rays lineup.
Only four members of the Rays have double digit home runs this season.
Undoubtedly, this is a big move for the small-market Rays. The organization is sending a message to its fan base that they are all in trying to win a World Series title.
Cruz is a big-time performer in the playoffs hitting .288 with 17 home runs in 46 postseason games.
In 2013 with the Texas Rangers, Cruz was named MVP of the ALCS when he batted .313 with six home runs and 13 RBI’s.
He is playing on a one-year deal. So the Rays are essentially renting Cruz the rest of the season to help bring a championship to Tampa.
Cruz will assume the everyday DH role with the Rays.
The Rays are one game behind Boston in the AL East. With the addition of Cruz, the Rays have absolutely given themselves a massive advantage over the competition for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
The Rays will play the Red Sox 13 times in the second half of the season, and those games undoubtedly will go a long to determining who wins the AL East.
The Rays are in Cleveland this weekend for a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians.