Rays acquire prospect Beeks from Red Sox
The Red Sox and Rays completed something rare in today's game on Tuesday -- a mutually beneficial intradivision trade.The Rays acquired left-handed pitching prospect Jalen Beeks from the Boston Red Sox for starter Nathan Eovaldi, the clubs confirmed Wednesday morning.
The Red Sox and Rays completed something rare in today's game on Tuesday -- a mutually beneficial intradivision trade.
The Rays acquired left-handed pitching prospect
Beeks was the 15th-ranked prospect in the Boston system, according to MLB.com, but that ranking likely would have been much higher after a midseason update. The 25-year-old southpaw has been dominant in his second Triple-A season with Pawtucket, posting a 2.89 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 16 starts (87 1/3 innings) in the International League this season. His 3.05 FIP and 33.0 percent strikeout rate are best among all Triple-A pitchers while his 4.7 K/BB ranks second among the 57 qualifiers.
A 12th-round pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2014, Beeks has made a big jump thanks to the development of a cutter starting last season. His fastball, curveball and changeup have also helped him get plenty of swings and misses at the Minors' top level. His arsenal hasn't translated into Major League success yet -- he gave up six earned runs over four innings in his big league debut on June 7 at Fenway Park, and his second outing against the Rangers on July 10 wasn't much better as he surrendered three earned runs on four hits over 2 1/3 frames out of the bullpen.
Beeks goes to a Tampa Bay club that is open to experimentation with its pitchers -- even if he can't stick as a back-end starter for the Rays, they could find value in him as a long reliever.
Eovaldi will join his third American League East team after stints with the Yankees and Rays. He posted a 4.26 ERA with 53 strikeouts and only eight walks in 57 innings with Tampa Bay this season. The 28-year-old right-hander, known for his high-90s fastball, has bounced back nicely after undergoing Tommy John surgery in both August 2016 and March 2017. He will be a free agent at the end of the year, making this a rental for the division-leading Red Sox.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.