Pat Neshek did his own reporting on this one.
According to the sidearming right-hander’s Twitter account, the Twins put Neshek on outright waivers Sunday and he was quickly claimed by the Padres.
The 30-year-old was a highly reliable setup man for Minnesota from 2006-2007, boasting a 2.68 ERA and a 127/33 K/BB ratio over 107-plus innings, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in November of 2008 and wasn’t able to climb back up the depth chart.
Neshek had a minor league option left, but the Twins opted to remove him from the 40-man roster and give him a fresh start elsewhere. Twins general manager Bill Smith called it a “good opportunity for him,” according to new MLB.com beat writer Rhett Bollinger.
Because of the spacious confines of PETCO Park, San Diego can be a wonderful place for pitchers who are looking for a career turnaround. Neshek should do well in a middle relief role if he can stay healthy.
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.