The Rays have acquired right-hander Aaron Slegers from the Pirates, the team confirmed Saturday. The Pirates will receive cash considerations in the deal.
Slegers, 26, was designated for assignment by the Pirates on Thursday. He pitched just eight innings in spring training, logging three strikeouts against 38 batters faced and allowing four runs on 10 hits and three walks. While it’s hard to point to any recent performance that isn’t sample-sized — he totaled fewer than 30 cumulative innings at the major-league level in 2017-2018 — the right-hander turned in a workable 3.80 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 6.0 SO/9 through 85 1/3 innings in Triple-A Rochester last year. According to MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, he’ll start the 2019 season in Triple-A Durham.
In a corresponding move, lefty reliever Anthony Banda was moved to the 60-day injured list to clear roster space for Slegers. Banda underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2018 and is not expected to make a full recovery until 2020.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.