Jake Odorizzi Reportedly Traded from Rays to Twins for Jermaine Palacios

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi delivers to the New York Yankees during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Jake Odorizzi has been one of the Tampa Bay Rays' bright spots in recent seasons, but they reportedly traded him to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. 

According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Twins will acquire Odorizzi in exchange for a package that includes shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios. 

Odorizzi has been steady in terms of appearances, pitching at least 28 games in each of the last four seasons. He posted a 4.14 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 127 strikeouts in 143.1 innings in 2017, which was a step back from his solid 2016 campaign (3.69 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 166 strikeouts in 187.2 innings).

The 2017 season continued a regression for the right-hander, considering he finished with career-best numbers of a 3.35 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 2015. But he is still only 27 years old and in the middle of what has been a productive prime.

What's more, his ground-ball rate was down to 30.6 and his home run-to-fly-ball ratio was up to 15.5 in 2017 after posting a 37.3 and 9.0, respectively, in 2015, per FanGraphs.

There are troubling trends with Odorizzi, although the upside is still there considering his age and some of his earlier numbers. 

The Rays are part of a daunting American League East and made the move with an eye on the future by parting with Odorizzi. Now he gets the opportunity to develop with the Twins as a piece of a potentially strong pairing atop the rotation.

Minnesota can combine him with Ervin Santana as a formidable one-two punch as it looks to challenge the likes of the Cleveland Indians and others in the American League Central. While Santana underwent finger surgery that could keep him out until May, the pair figures to be intact for the stretch run when the Twins will look to make the playoffs for the second straight year. 

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