In relief pitcher Jesse Crain, the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday traded for a White Sox player who is damaged goods.
The Rays obviously feel that will soon change, and that’s why they landed Crain and cash considerations from the Sox for players to be named or cash considerations.
“We feel like when healthy, Jesse is among the best relief pitchers in the game,” Tampa Bay general manager Andrew Friedman told reporters. “As far as prognosis, we don’t really know, in that we haven’t had a chance to put our hands on him.
“It’s too early to speculate on exactly when, but again, with our training staff and everything we’ve learned about Jesse, we’re confident he will come back and impact this team.”
It’s an unusual trade in advance of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. (Chicago time) deadline, but not a surprise.
When he was healthy this season, the 32-year-old Crain was one of the top relievers in baseball with a 0.74 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 362⁄3 innings.
But the right-hander has been on the disabled list since June 30 with a right-shoulder strain, and Crain was not feeling good enough to throw a bullpen Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
If he does bounce back and help Tampa Bay over the final two months of the regular season and possibly the playoffs, Crain should net the White Sox one or two of Tampa Bay’s better prospects.
“This is obviously a complicated (trade) for everyone to analyze given there are still some unknowns,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters in Cleveland. “There’s a pool of players that Andrew Friedmann and I have discussed.
“We’re going to continue to cross-check the players over the coming weeks and months and actually we’ll come to an agreement as to what’s appropriate compensation for Jesse.”
Crain, who was selected to his first American League all-star team earlier this month despite being on the DL, set a Sox record this season with 29 consecutive scoreless appearances from April 17-June 22.
In 156 relief appearances with the White Sox the past three seasons, Crain was 12-9 with a 2.10 ERA.
As for Jake Peavy, who still is scheduled to start for the Sox on Tuesday night against the Indians, it’s probably fair to say it’s 50-50 he takes the mound.
Class AAA Charlotte starter Andre Rienzo, who struck out 11 during a 7-inning no-hitter against Indianapolis on Thursday, reportedly is in Cleveland and would start for Peavy if he’s traded.
The asking price for Peavy, who is signed through next season, is rumored to be extremely high.
“With any player who is under contract for future seasons, there certainly is no urgency to make a deal now,” Hahn said of Peavy. “I’m not any under marching orders from Jerry (Reinsdorf) or Kenny (Williams) to cut payroll at this time. It’s more about doing what’s the best baseball deal now.
“When you have a situation like Jesse, who’s a free agent at the end of the year, or Matt Thornton, the urgency to do something prior to the deadline is a little bit greater.
“But for guys controlled in 2014 and beyond, whether we make a move or not is going to be based on the talent exchanged and whether that makes us better in the future.”
źFollow Scot Gregor’s White Sox and baseball reports on Twitter@scotgregor, and check out his Chicago’s Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.