Rays win the battle to keep reliever Oliver Drake, for now

Well-traveled Drake clears waivers, accepts assignment to Triple-A Durham.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Oliver Drake throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game Aug. 15, 2018, in Minneapolis. [JIM MONE | AP]
Minnesota Twins pitcher Oliver Drake throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game Aug. 15, 2018, in Minneapolis. [JIM MONE | AP]
Published January 24

Twice this winter, the Rays have shown they wanted RH reliever Oliver Drake — to a degree.

The Rays acquired Drake twice, first on waivers from the Twins in November then in a small trade from the Blue Jays earlier this month, but ended up designating him for assignment both times as they needed a space on the 40-man roster.

But they have now won the battle for Drake, as he went unclaimed through waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. The Rays can call him up whenever they want and add him to the 40-man roster, but should they send him down they run the risk of losing him again.

Drake, 32, is used to being on the move. During the 2018 season he pitched for a single-season record five teams, going from the Brewers to the Indians to the Angels to the Blue Jays and then the Twins, who waived him after the season.

Drake has pitched in 135 big-league games over parts of four seasons, coming up with the Orioles in 2015. He has a 5-6, 4.59 record with 151 strikeouts in 137 1/3 innings.



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