Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Rays Get: C Ryan Hanigan, RHP Heath Bell and $500K
In Jose Molina and Ryan Hanigan, the Rays now have two righty-swinging catchers who can't hit. But the two of them also represent two of the better defensive catchers in the league. A good defensive catcher is a good thing to have. Two is even better.
And according to Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune, the Rays didn't waste time extending Hanigan. He'll be staying through at least 2016 on a three-year deal that includes an option for 2017.
As for Heath Bell, well, he's a project. It's good that the 4.5 K/BB ratio he posted last year was the highest of his career, but he also gave up 12 homers and over 10 hits per nine innings.
Knowing the Rays, Bell will probably be transformed back into a shutdown closer, in which case this deal will have netted them a valuable catcher and late-inning reliever for an undrafted pitcher (Justin Choate) with 16 Low-A appearances under his belt.
Reds Get: LHP David Holmberg
The Reds shed a couple million bucks in 2014 salary by sending Hanigan to the Rays, and they could have done a lot worse than getting Holmberg from the Diamondbacks.
Holmberg made 26 starts at Double-A in 2013, posting a 2.75 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has him slated as one of Cincinnati's top 10 prospects after the trade, and he would seem poised to serve as rotation depth behind Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani.
Diamondbacks Get: RHP Justin Choate and a PTBNL or Cash
For the D-Backs, this deal was a salary dump first and foremost. In getting rid of Bell and the roughly $6 million he was owed in 2014, they now have some extra cash to make upgrades elsewhere.
That the D-Backs had to part with Holmberg is the less-awesome part of this deal for them, especially given that Choate isn't a suitable replacement. But since they have Archie Bradley knocking on the major league door and a handful of talented pitching prospects in line behind him, parting with Holmberg isn't exactly a franchise-wrecker.