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Dodgers Trade Outfielder Luke Raley To Rays For Righthander Tanner Dodson

The Rays and Dodgers worked out a deal on the periphery of their 40-man rosters as outfielder Luke Raley was traded to Tampa Bay for righthanded reliever Tanner Dodson.


Tanner Dodson, RHP 
Age: 24

When the Rays drafted Dodson in the second round in 2018, it was following in the footsteps of two-way player Brendan McKay (the Rays’ first-round pick in 2017). Like McKay, Dodson began his career trying to be both an outfielder and a reliever. And like McKay, injuries soon derailed his development. His 2019 season was ruined by a shoulder injury. When he returned to action in 2021, he quickly shelved playing in the outfield to focus on his work as a reliever. Dodson is one of the hardest throwers in baseball—he sits 95-98 mph and has touched 101 mph with his fastball. It can be a little straight at times, but it does a good job of setting up his above-average high-80s/low-90s slider. Neither Dodson’s fastball nor slider has yet turned into a true bat-misser, and his fringy control needs to improve, but he has the makings of a useful one-inning reliever. He pitched in Double-A last year, so it’s possible he could reach Los Angeles at some point in 2022. Dodson was left off the 40-man roster, but because there was no MLB Rule 5 draft, the Rays didn’t end up having to expose him to being picked. In a very deep Rays system, Dodson did not rank among the team’s Top 40 prospects. In acquiring him, the Dodgers cleared a 40-man roster spot.

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Luke Raley, OF 
Age: 27

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded away Raley. They drafted him in the seventh round in 2016 out of Lake Erie (Ohio) after he hit .424/.528/.747. Two years later, the Dodgers shipped him to the Twins in the July 31 deal that brought Brian Dozier to Los Angeles. Like a boomerang, Raley came back, as the Dodgers reacquired him in the Kenta Maeda trade that also brought Brusdar Graterol to L.A. Raley continued to do what he’d always done in his return—produce solid power numbers as a defensively limited outfielder. Raley hits the ball extremely hard. While he struggled in his first taste of the majors, he did post a 113.5 mph exit velocity on his hardest hit ball and his ability to regularly get to that power stood out in Triple-A. He has the power to hit 20-plus home runs with regular at-bats and he posts decent on-base percentages despite modest walk totals thanks to his ability to regularly get plunked. Raley will turn 28 at the end of the season. Thanks to the Dodgers’ recent moves, there wasn’t really a spot for Raley in L.A. He has a better shot of riding the Durham-Tampa Bay shuttle in 2022, with enough power to run into some home runs if he gets playing time. Raley did not rank among the Dodgers Top 40 prospects.

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