A day after signing Anibal Sanchez in free agency, the Minnesota Twins have acquired 27-year-old right-hander Jake Odorizzi in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, according to sources in the know.
In exchange, the Twins are believed to be sending Class A shortstop Jermaine Palacios to Tampa Bay. Palacios hit .320 with 11 homers, 13 doubles, 6 triples and 9 stolen bases in 62 games at Cedar Rapids last season. Twins Daily listed him as the 20th best prospect in the organization.
Odorizzi had a knack for giving up home runs (30 in 143 1/3innings) last season, but he finished with a 4.14 ERA and finished strong with a 1.72 ERA over his last six starts.
The 4.14 ERA is actually his worst since becoming a full-time starter for the Rays in 2014. He posted ERAs of 4.13 (2014), 3.35 (2015), and 3.69 (2017) the previous three seasons.
The move shouldn't come as a big surprise considering The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, who's as locked in as any reporter in the world, recently wrote that the Twins were considering trading for Odorizzi and adding another starting pitcher via free agency.
The first domino fell Friday with the Twins signing Sanchez. Odorizzi is domino number two.
Odorizzi won his arbitration case with the Rays earlier in week so the Twins will take on his 2018 salary of 6.3 million. He's arbitration eligible again in 2019 before gaining free agent status in 2020.
Once 2017 All-Star Ervin Santana returns from an injury – likely mid-April – the Twins will have a projected rotation of: Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Santana, Odorizzi and Sanchez, assuming Sanchez makes the team out of spring training.
The Twins have enough off days in April that they could go with a four-man rotation until Santana returns, or give one of their promising young prospects – Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero, Felix Jorge, Zach Littel – a chance.
Veteran righty Phil Hughes is also competing for a job out of spring training.