Jesse Crain was activated from the disabled list this week after missing three months with a shoulder strain, but he has yet to appear in a game. And it’s now possible that he’ll never throw a pitch for the Rays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that Crain didn’t feel right throwing Tuesday after he warmed up during Monday’s game. As a result, his availability for the rest of the season and the playoffs is in question.
Crain had a dominant 0.74 ERA and 46/11 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings with the White Sox prior to landing on the disabled list. The Rays acquired the veteran reliever at the trade deadline in hopes that he would be able to contribute down the stretch, but progress has been hard to come by.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.