• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Rays trade Andrew Kittredge to Cards, get José Caballero from M’s


The Tampa Bay Rays made a pair of trades Friday, acquiring outfielder Richie Palacios from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for right-handed reliever Andrew Kittredge and sending outfielder Luke Raley to the Seattle Mariners for infielder José Caballero.

In both trades, the Rays — whose roster-churning abilities have helped them to a 511-359 record since 2018, the second best in the American League and fourth in Major League Baseball — will receive players with six years of team control. Raley has five years of club control, while Kittredge will reach free agency after the 2024 season.

Kittredge, who will be 34 on Opening Day, made the All-Star team in 2021 and underwent Tommy John surgery the following season. In his return last year, he went 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA in 11⅔ innings. Estimated to make around $2.5 million in arbitration this season, Kittredge joins a Cardinals bullpen that has used Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos in late-inning situations.

Palacios, who went to St. Louis from Cleveland in a deal for cash last year, is a 26-year-old left-handed hitter who slashed .258/.307/.516 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 102 plate appearances last year. With Lars Nootbaar, Jordan Walker, Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson expected to receive most of the Cardinals’ outfield at-bats this season, Palacios had a narrow path to playing time.

In Tampa Bay, he’ll join the 27-year-old Caballero, who filled in ably at second base for Seattle last year and could see time at shortstop for the Rays as they try to fill the position with Wander Franco being investigated by officials in the Dominican Republic for an alleged relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Caballero hit .221/.343/.320 with 26 stolen bases in Seattle.

Palacios could get playing time in place of Raley, who hit .249/.333/.490 with 19 home runs in 406 plate appearances for the Rays last season. Tampa Bay’s starting outfield is expected to include star left fielder Randy Arozarena, right fielder Josh Lowe and center fielder Jose Siri, with Jonny Deluca — acquired in Tampa Bay’s trade of Tyler Glasnow to the Los Angeles Dodgers — also in play.


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