Rays Trade Peralta; Add Six to Roster | The Process Report

Rays Trade Peralta; Add Six to Roster

In advance of Thurday’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, the Rays made a flurry of late-night moves. In summation, the club added six players to the 40-man roster while saying good bye to a pair of veterans. Internally, Ryan Brett, Matt Andriese, Garvin Grayson, Mikie Mahtook and Justin O’Conner were added while Jose Molina, Michael Kohn and Cole Figueroa were subtracted.

The final piece of the puzzle was a four-player trade with the Dodgers, meaning Andrew Friedman and Matt Silverman were on opposite sides of the same transaction for the first time. The Rays received pitchers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris from Los Angeles while Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore head West.

We will take the move in stages:

The Departed:

The Molina move was the first one announced and covered in a separate post. Figueroa’s designation is not a surprise even though he appears to have a role on a major-league bench. The club is well equipped with infielders at the upper levels of the system and veterans with similar skill-sets are typically available for a non-roster invite come late winter.

Kohn, signed earlier this off-season, has a talented right-arm but questions about his ability to throw strikes. The team moved quickly to sign him to a major-league deal but perhaps were a bit overzealous as players of his ilk usually sign minor league deals with tickets to Port Charlotte attached. There is a chance Kohn is re-added before all is said and done.

The Joel Peralta era ends on a bittersweet note. The franchise leader in pitcher appearances had his club option picked up earlier this month but will pitch for a new team (old boss) next season. Even at his advanced age, the right-hander is an above-average reliever despite claims otherwise. He continues to post strikeouts in bunches, miss bats his splitter and controlled the strike zone much better last season. Limited natural ability lends to a thin margin for error. When he is off, he can have stretches of ineffectiveness; however, the overall package – including clubhouse leadership – is a net positive. The fact that the Rays were able to flip his 39-year-old arm for a pair of young pitchers is a testament to his ability. It also means his impact on the club could linger long past his playing days.

Also going to Los Angeles is Adam Liberatore. A 2010 draft pick, the left-handed reliever has boasted gaudy strikeout totals recently and should find a home in middle relief.

The Additions:

Brett, Mahtook, O’Conner and Andriese were all expected additions for various reasons. Andriese and Mahtook could find their way to St. Petersburg as soon as 2015 while Brett and O’Conner are looked at as potential MLB starters within the next few seasons. Grayson is a bit of a surprise but not for a lack of talent. The former Vanderbilt product has pedigree and a future in the big league rotation; provided the assortment of injuries that has slowed down development allows him to reach his potential.

The newest members of the organization are a pair of right-handed pitchers with varying roles and skill-sets.

Domiguez, 24, has already collected his first major-league check having appeared in 14 contests over the past two seasons. He also also served a pair of suspensions for violating various drug policies. A starter earlier in his career, he spent several seasons at the lowest level before being placed on the fast track as a reliever that can surpass triple digits on the radar gun. He backs the 80-grade fastball with a slider that has good velocity separation from the heater and spins the occasional off-speed offering.

The Rays are buying in to his talented right-arm more than any results as there are a few dents in the packaging. He dealt with some shoulder inflammation but avoided any surgical scars to this point. Of larger concern is an extreme lack of control. At times he appears dominant with high-octane velocity and a hard slider, but inability to throw strikes on a consistent basis or command within the zone, leaves him in a vulnerable to free passes and hard hits.

Domiguez has a noticeable spine tilt and his head veers toward the left-handed batters box more than the plate as he releases the ball from a three-quarter slot. Neither of these are conducive to good control. His arm action has length to it but the release is so quick, and the velocity so stark, that the ball goes from behind his back to the plate extremely fast. Harnessing his flame will be key to his future role as the ingredients for a late-inning reliever are there.

Harris has big-league bloodlines as his dad, Greg Sr., spent nearly two decades on the diamond. He is a starting pitcher that has room to fill out what is currently a lanky frame but his shape may limit the bulk. He works tall with a low-90s fastball. Some have seen him reach back for more. He also has a breaking ball and a changeup that show promise but lack consistency. He will turn 21 next season which means he is a ways away from impacting the highest level.

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