Two things were pretty clear in talking to RHP Jake Odorizzi this morning in Fort Myers about being traded from the Rays to Twins.
He couldn't be much happier than to be a new that that has legitimate playoff aspirations, and that he feels for those he left behind who don't.
In talking about leaving the Rays, who in the last eight days traded Odorizzi, 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson and 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr., Odorizzi said:
"The reality is it what it is. I feel bad for the guys that are still there with the turnover. And it's tough. They want to go out there, they want to compete, they want to win. And to have tools that help them do that be taken away , it makes things a lot more difficult."
And in talking about coming to the Twins, who won the second wild-card but lost to the Yankees, Odorizzi said:
"It's good. It's different to hear the talk around here of not being satisfied with making the playoffs last year, be it the one game. There's a lot of drive and a lot of hunger going towards this season, the way they prepare for it over here, focus on the little things, little things lead to big things. I think everybody buys into there is something that could be special this season and it's good to be a part of, and that side of it of going for it from the get-go."
Odorizzi also said he was "very grateful" to everybody with the Rays who helped him, from the front office givign him a chance and sticking with him, to pitching coach Jim Hickey working diligently with him, to his former teamamtes who shared advice and helped his transition.
"I wouldn't be the player I am today without my time there, and everybody who had a hand in getting me to that direction," he said.
Also, that he will miss ex-mate Chris Archer, who he still talks with regularly:
"The bond that Arch and I had can never be broken, really. He was the closest thing I had to a brother on the team."