A team designating a marginal reliever for assignment at the end of August normally isn’t all that blog-worthy, but R.A. Dickey — who was just DFA’d by the Twins — isn’t just any marginal reliever. He’s a knuckleballer, and I have a thing for knuckleballers, so this news makes me sad.
The only saving grace in all of this is that the reason he was DFA’d was to make room for Ron Mahay. While no knuckleballer, Mahay is a former position-player/strikebreaker/LOOGY, so at least Dickey’s weirdness is being somewhat accounted for. Beats adding some nondescript fifth outfielder.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.