Rays Add Arms With Odorizzi, Montgomery
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.—Much of the analysis of the Rays' big trade with the Royals has weighed the addition of elite outfield prospect Wil Myers in exchange for righthanders James Shields and Wade Davis.
But the Rays felt they came out of the deal re-armed by also acquiring righthander Jake Odorizzi and lefthander Mike Montgomery. Odorizzi, 22, has been a top-level prospect in the Brewers and Royals organizations and made it to the majors for two September appearances. He was a combined 15-5, 3.03 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha in 2012.
"We feel like he has the chance to be one of five in a really good major league rotation," Rays general manager Andrew Friedman said.
Montgomery, 23, was the Royals' top prospect going into 2012, but had a second consecutive poor season that dimmed his status. The Rays, however, are confident that a change of scenery can get Montgomery back to top form after he went 5-12, 6.07 in 27 starts between Double-A and Triple-A.
"There are some things we feel we can help him with, that he will fit in very well with our development system," Friedman said. "He's a guy that has a lot of upside."
Getting traded to a pitching-rich organization could be a good news/bad news situation for two young players seeking the chance to establish themselves in the majors. Odorizzi said he looks at it as a prime opportunity.
"Their track record speaks for itself," he said.
• The Rays also acquired third baseman Patrick Leonard, a 2011 fifth-round pick who received a $600,000 bonus, in the Myers trade. Leonard, 20, tied for the Appalachian League lead with 14 homers for Rookie-level Burlington in 2012.
• The Rays acquired lefthanded-hitting Vince Belnome from the Padres in a deal for lefthander Chris Rearick, who was named the top reliever in the Rays system the last two years. Belnome, 24, played first, second and third base, and hit .275/.380/.384 in 258 at-bats at Triple-A Tucson in 2012.