Tuesday, November 20, 2018
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

Tampa Bay Rays trade reliever Brad Boxberger to Arizona for minor-league pitcher

UPDATE, 2:25: Boxberger said he wasn't surprised to be dealt but was "caught a little off guard" it was this soon in the off-season. He said he was "definitely excited" about the opportunity in Arizona and felt his strong finish to the 2017 season was a sign he is poised to return to form.

"I think I'm going to have a good year no matter what team I'm with," Boxberger said. "I'm looking to go in to Arizona and have the year I knew I was going to have in Tampa. Just to be able to come back fully healthy. I finished the year really strong so just kind of building off of that and just keeping the health in order to where it is right now and where I finished last year, feeling 100 percent with mechanics and health-wise and location and all that with all my pitches. So I'm definitely looking to keep doing that this coming year."

DEVELOPING: The Rays got tired of waiting for RHP Brad Boxberger after two straight injury-shortened seasons and traded him to Arizona for a minor-league pitcher.

The deal comes in advance of Friday's deadline to tender contracts, indicating the Rays were likely to cut him free rather than pay a projected $1.9-million salary through arbitration and get something in return.

That is RHP Curtis Taylor, a 22-year-old who was 3-4, 3.32 in 13 starts last year at Class A Kane County before being shut down due to a right shoulder impingement. The Rays says he is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

Taylor is a Canadian who was a fourth-round pick in 2016 from the University of British Columbia and was ranked Arizona's No. 14 prospect by mlb.com.

Boxberger, an All-Star and AL saves leader in 2015, pitched in 30 games last season, many in a mop-up role, posting a 4-4, 3.38 record. He was sidelined the first half of the season due to a flexor strain.

He missed much of the 2016 season as well with injuries.