Dan Runzler leaves the Giants to go to Japan

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San Francisco released reliever Dan Runzler from Triple-A so that he can sign with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.

Runzler had a 3.86 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 72 innings for the Giants spread over four seasons, but struggled with his control and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012.

At age 29 he was in his sixth season at Triple-A, so it’s understandable that Runzler would want to take the guaranteed payday in Japan and perhaps return to MLB in a couple years with a strong record over there.

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.