Rays Acquire Aaron Civale From Guardians For Top Prospect Kyle Manzardo


Image credit: Aaron Civale (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Rays have made their first move to address their chronic need for starting pitching.

The Rays acquired veteran righthander Aaron Civale from the Guardians on Monday in exchange for Triple-A first baseman Kyle Manzardo, the No. 69 prospect on the BA Top 100.

Civale joins a Rays rotation that has just three healthy, effective starters in Tyler Glasnow, Zach Eflin and Shane McClanahan. Rookie righthander Taj Bradley has a 5.67 ERA in 16 starts and Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs are both out for the year after having season-ending elbow surgeries.

The Rays have gotten just 509 innings from their starting pitchers this season, 26th out of 30 teams. In large part due to their shorthanded rotation, the Rays are 37-38 since opening the season 27-6 and have fallen out of first place in the American League East.


Aaron Civale, RHP
Age: 28

Civale missed most of the season’s first two months with an oblique injury but has excelled when he’s been on the mound this year. He went 5-2, 2.34 in 13 starts with the Guardians while recording 58 strikeouts and 22 walks in 77 innings. Civale doesn’t throw very hard, but he knows who he is and plays to his strengths. He primarily throws an upper-80s cutter that stays off of barrels and uses an upper-70s curveball as his primary swing-and-miss pitch. His low-90s sinker is his third offering and he rarely throws his low-90s four-seam fastball. Civale keeps the ball on the ground, fills the strike zone and pitches to early contact to last deep into games. He has completed at least six innings in seven of his 13 starts. Civale will be arbitration-eligible after this year and is under team control through 2025.


Kyle Manzardo, 1B
Age: 23

Manzardo emerged as one of the breakout prospects of 2022 when he hit .327/.426/.617 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs in 93 games while climbing to Double-A. He’s come back down to earth some this year as his weaknesses have been exposed by advanced pitchers in Triple-A. He hit just .238/.342/.442 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 73 games at Triple-A Durham while failing to make the quality of contact expected of a top first base prospect. At his best, Manzardo has exceptional strike-zone discipline and swing decisions. He avoids chasing out of the zone and sprays line drives around the park. He has the raw ingredients to be an above-average hitter, but he has struggled badly against lefties this season (.148/.262/.273) to create platoon concerns. Manzardo has just above-average raw power, which sits on the low end for a first baseman, and will have to prove he can get to it against high-end pitching. Manzardo has a chance to be a first baseman who hits for a high average and decent power, but he also carries risk that he won’t hit for enough impact to man the position every day. He’ll begin his Guardians career at Triple-A Columbus as soon as he returns from a shoulder injury he sustained fielding a pickoff throw on July 6.

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