Updated: July 22, 2021 09:05 PM
Created: July 22, 2021 05:54 PM
With the Minnesota Twins well out of playoff contention and the July 31 trade deadline quickly approaching, the team was expected to be active in the trade market. The team made its first move on Thursday.
The team confirmed designated hitter Nelson Cruz is being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to the Twins, Cruz and minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher were traded for Rays' minor league pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman.
The 41-year-old Cruz has hit .294 with 19 home runs, 13 doubles and 50 RBI in 85 games this season, his third with the Twins.
#MNTwins complete trade with Tampa Bay Rays.— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 22, 2021
Club acquires right-handed minor league pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman, in exchange for designated hitter Nelson Cruz and right-handed minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher.
MLB.com ranked Ryan, 25, as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays system while Strotman, 24, was ranked No. 17.
Cruz is on the final year of his contract and was expected to be among the most coveted hitters on the trade market.
The Twins were 17 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division entering Thursday.
Twins President Dave St. Peter tweeted, "It's hard to describe the monumental impact @ncboomstick23 had on @Twins org. Nelly's leadership, professionalism & elite play have made us better.His work in the community has improved the lives of thousands.THX Nelson. You will always have a special place in Twins Territory."
It’s hard to describe the monumental impact @ncboomstick23 had on @Twins org. Nelly’s leadership, professionalism & elite play have made us better.His work in the community has improved the lives of thousands.THX Nelson. You will always have a special place in Twins Territory. https://t.co/C6NJgPHQPm— Dave St. Peter (@TwinsPrez) July 22, 2021
The Twins provided the following bios for Ryan and Strotman in officially announcing the trade:
Ryan, 25, has made 12 appearances (11 starts) for Triple-A Durham so far this season, going 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA (57.0 IP, 23 ER), 10 walks, 75 strikeouts and a .175 opponent batting average. The 6’2”, 205-pound right-hander was selected by the Rays in the seventh round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of California State University, Stanislaus. Ryan was part of the Rays’ 60-man player pool and spent the 2020 MLB season at the club’s alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Florida. He is ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system, per MLB.com.
Strotman, 24, has spent the 2021 season with Triple-A Durham, going 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA (58.1 IP, 22 ER), 33 walks, 62 strikeouts and a .235 opponent batting average in 13 games (12 starts) for the Bulls. The Sunnyvale, California native was selected by the Rays in the fourth round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Saint Mary’s College of California and has gone 12-8 with a 3.12 ERA (179.0 IP, 62 ER), 72 walks and 171 strikeouts in 42 career minor league games (37 starts). He is ranked as Tampa Bay’s 17th-best prospect according to MLB.com and earned New York-Penn League Midseason All-Star honors with Hudson Valley in 2017.
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