Rays acquire well-traveled reliever Oliver Drake in trade with Blue Jays

The right-hander pitched for a record five teams last season. He's changed teams twice this offseason.
The Rays acquired reliever Oliver Drake (32), shown here pitching last season for the Minnesota Twins, on Friday.  (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
The Rays acquired reliever Oliver Drake (32), shown here pitching last season for the Minnesota Twins, on Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Published January 4
Updated January 4

ST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this offseason, the Rays acquired well-traveled right-handed reliever Oliver Drake, this time through a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations.

The move marks the third time Drake has switched teams this offseason. He's grown used to change: He pitched for a major league record five different teams last season.

To create 40-man roster space for Drake, the Rays designated right-handed reliever Jamie Schultz for assignment.

The Rays claimed Drake, who turns 32 this month, off waivers from the Twins on Nov. 1, then designated him for assignment on Nov. 26 and he was claimed by the Blue Jays.

Drake recorded a 5.29 ERA over 47 2/3 innings with the Brewers, Indians, Angles, Blue Jays and Twins. His numbers were uneven, but he finished strong with Minnesota, posting a 2.21 ERA over 20 1/3 innings while holding opposing batters to a .164 average.

He's primarily a two-pitch pitcher, throwing a low 90s fastball and a mid-80s split that draws swings and misses low in the strike zone. He introduced a curveball last season that saw little success.

Drake has a deceptive over-the-top delivery that makes it difficult to read his pitches out of his hand, making his fastball-split mix effective. With the Twins, Drake's split, which he threw 44.7 percent of the time, drew an impressive 21.6 percent whiff percentage.

Schultz, 27, posted a 5.64 ERA over 30 1/3 innings with the Rays this season.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at [email protected] Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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