The Tampa Bay Rays acquired slugger Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in a four-player trade.
The Twins received minor league pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman in exchange for Cruz and minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher.
The 41-year-old Cruz, a seven-time All-Star, is hitting .294 with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs this season.
The 17-year veteran has 436 home runs and 1,202 RBIs in his career. He has twice won the Edgar Martinez Award as the American League’s top designated hitter.
He is a proven playoff performer with a .288 average and 17 home runs in 46 postseason games. He was the named the MVP of the American League Championship Series in 2011 when he hit .364 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the Texas Rangers’ victory in six games over the Detroit Tigers.
The Rays are currently one game back of the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East race entering Thursday night’s games. The Twins, who finished first in the AL Central the past two seasons, have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments this season, trailing the first-place Chicago White Sox by 17 games entering Thursday’s games.
Ryan, a 25-year-old right-hander, is 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) for Triple-A Durham this season. Strotman, a 24-year-old right-hander, is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) for Durham.
Faucher, a 25-year-old right-hander, is 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 19 appearances in Double-A Wichita this season.
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