MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins acquired right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night for minor league infielder Jermaine Palacios, securing some needed depth for their rotation after missing out on several free agents.
The 27-year-old Odorizzi will join his third major league team in the Twins, who won’t have right-hander Ervin Santana for the first several weeks of the regular season while he recovers from surgery on his middle finger. Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios and Adalberto Mejia are the only other returning pitchers who made more than 10 starts for the Twins in 2017.
Phil Hughes is also in the mix, recovering from a second thoracic outlet surgery on his ribs in as many years, but the Twins were concerned enough about their lack of proven candidates to make the trade for Odorizzi. They’ve also, according to multiple reports, reached an agreement with right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who has made 262 starts for the Tigers and Marlins over the last 12 seasons.
For the Rays in 2017, Odorizzi went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 143 1/3 innings over 28 starts. He pitched a career-best 187 2/3 innings over 33 starts in 2016, posting a 3.69 ERA. Odorizzi was drafted by Milwaukee 32nd overall in 2008. He made his debut with Kansas City in 2012 before being dealt to Tampa Bay the next season. He’s 40-38 with a 3.83 ERA in 705 1/3 major league innings.
The 21-year-old Palacios has a .290 career average over four minor league seasons. He finished last year with Class A Fort Myers. To make room for Odorizzi on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda to the 60-day disabled list.