The Diamondbacks, Rays and Reds hooked up on a three-team deal in which Tampa Bay acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan (from the Reds) and reliever Heath Bell (from the Diamondbacks), Cincinnati snagged 22-year-old southpaw David Holmberg (from the Diamondbacks) and Arizona received righthander Justin Choate and outfielder Todd Glaesmann (both from the Rays).
The Diamondbacks received the least impact potential in the deal, while surrendering Holmberg, the best prospect to change teams, but in the process they wiped out $5.5 million in salary commitment to Bell for 2014.
David Holmberg, lhp
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in second round of 2009 draft; signed June 12, 2009 . . . Traded by White Sox with RHP Daniel Hudson to Diamondbacks for RHP Edwin Jackson, July 30, 2010.
Holmberg ranked as Arizona’s No. 6 prospect prior to the 2013 season. One of the most polished pitchers in the system, he has above-average command and a plus changeup in the low 80s. He spots his fastball, which sits at 88-91 mph and can reach 93. He made one appearance for the D-backs in 2013 and profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Justin Choate, rhp
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Rays, June 24, 2013.
Signed as a nondrafted free agent by the Rays out of Stephen F. Austin, where he pitched in 2012-13, Choate’s velocity sits 85-88 mph and he uses his slider as his primary strikeout pitch. He worked as closer for short-season Hudson Valley in 2013 and profiles as a reliever.
Todd Glaesmann, of
Career Transactions: Selected by Rays in third round of 2009 draft (108th overall).
The 6-foot-4 Glaesmann was named Rays minor league player of the year in 2012 after leading the system with 21 home runs at low Class A Bowling Green and high Class A Charlotte. But he struggled with a bump up in classification in 2013. He’s athletic and a solid defender and despite a poor season, projects as a power-hitting, corner outfielder.
Heath Bell, rhp
Remaining Commitment: One year, $5.5 million after factoring in money coming from the Diamondbacks and Marlins.
Bell could replace free agent Fernando Rodney as closer in Tampa Bay, though he’s become much more hittable as he’s aged. On the plus side, his strikeout rate rebounded in a big way in 2013, and he would be far from the most random closer reclamation undertaken by the Rays.
Ryan Hanigan, c
Age: 33. Bats: R.
Remaining Commitment: Third-year arbitration-eligible after being paid $2.05 million in 2013.
Hanigan will split catching duties with Jose Molina to form a potent defensive duo in Tampa Bay in 2013. He led the National League in caught-stealing percentage in 2013 (45 percent) and 2012 (48 percent). His offensive performance in 2013 is aberrant, as his career batting line is .262/.359/.343. The Rays reportedly extended Hanigan for three years and $10.75 million, with a fourth-year option that could push value to $13.7 million.