Brewers get Civale from Rays to bolster rotation

todayJuly 10, 2024 4

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  • passan jeff

    Jeff Passan, ESPNJul 3, 2024, 09:46 AM ET


      ESPN MLB insider
      Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired right-hander Aaron Civale from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, adding the veteran to a thin starting rotation in hopes of holding onto first place in the National League Central.

Tampa Bay will receive infield prospect Gregory Barrios.

Civale, 29, was dealt to the Rays near the trade deadline from Cleveland last season for first baseman Kyle Manzardo and joins a Brewers rotation beleaguered by injury, with young starters Robert Gasser and DL Hall as well as veteran Joe Ross on the 60-day injured list.

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While Civale has struggled since joining Tampa Bay, posting a 5.17 ERA over 27 starts, he adds a reliable starter to a Brewers team that has leaned on Freddy Peralta, Colin Rea, standout rookie Tobias Myers, and Bryse Wilson, who has split time as a starter and bulk-innings reliever following an opener. Civale is on pace to surpass his career-best innings total of 124⅓, having thrown 87 innings with a 5.07 ERA this season. He will reach free agency after the 2025 season.

The Brewers, whose success in recent years has revolved around starting pitching, own a six-game lead in the NL Central due more to an offense that has scored the fifth-most runs in Major League Baseball.

The Rays, at 43-42, are three games back of Kansas City for the final American League wild-card slot. Their rotation already includes right-handers Zach Eflin, Taj Bradley, Ryan Pepiot and Zack Littell. Right-hander Shane Baz, once a top prospect, could rejoin Tampa Bay after starting 10 games at Triple-A this season. The Rays also are expected to get back ace Shane McClanahan and right-hander Drew Rasmussen from elbow surgeries before the 2025 season.

The Rays are expected to be busy leading up to the July 30 trade deadline, potentially adding players to join for a playoff push while still open to dealing away from positions of depth.

Barrios, 20, was assigned to Class-A Bowling Green. He joins a Tampa Bay farm system already strong in the infield, with top-10 prospects Junior Caminero and Carson Williams. In 60 games at High-A this season, Barrios is hitting .317/.361/.423 with one home run, 34 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 22 tries.

The Rays recalled right-hander Justin Sterner from Triple-A Durham to fill Civale’s spot on the roster, while the Brewers designated right-hander Taylor Clarke for assignment to make room for Civale on the 40-man roster.

Written by: Ag Entertainment

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