Once-dominant setup man Eric O’Flaherty is close to joining the A’s after Tommy John surgery

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Oakland’s bullpen is close to adding left-hander Eric O’Flaherty, who was a dominant setup man in Atlanta from 2009-2013.

O’Flaherty is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, which is why he managed only a two-year, $7 million contract from the A’s as a free agent despite posting a 1.99 ERA in 250 innings for the Braves.

He’s exactly 12 months removed from surgery, so the A’s may ease him into the bullpen mix with a middle relief role, but if healthy O’Flaherty is a late inning-caliber southpaw with the ability to shut down left-handed and right-handed hitters.

While rehabbing in the minors O’Flaherty made seven appearances at Triple-A with a 4.32 ERA and 5/3 K/BB ratio in 8.1 innings.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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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.