Rays, Padres Swap Infielders
The Padres completed their second trade with an AL East team on Tuesday, sending infielder Ryan Schimpf to the Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Deion Tansel.
The deal comes hours after the Padres acquired Chase Headley from the Yankees, creating a further infield logjam that ultimately left no room for Schimpf, whose future was already in doubt after he was demoted to Triple-A in June of last season and did not return to the big league roster.
Padres acquire: Deion Tansel, SS (Short-season Hudson Valley) Age: 23
The Rays drafted Tansel in the 32nd round in 2016 as a senior sign out of Toledo. He was known as a defensive whiz at shortstop with the Rockets, winning the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award back-to-back years as a junior and senior. His defensive excellence also made him one of the top prospects in the Prospect League. At 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Tansel has long garnered the "gritty" label. His plus speed and soft hands help him frequently take away hits up the middle, and he converts all the routine plays as well. Tansel lacks power but puts the bat on the ball and draws a good chunk of walks, resulting in a .277/.336/.403 slash line at short-season Hudson Valley last year. He doesn't project to ever hit for power, but his superb shortstop defense and ability to make consistent contact give him a chance to keep rising.
Rays acquire: Ryan Schimpf, 3B/2B (Triple-A El Paso) Age: 29
Schimpf was the feel good story of 2016 after he hit 20 homers in 89 games as a 28-year-old rookie, but he hit just .154 in 53 games with the Padres in 2017, albeit with 14 homers, before being demoted to Triple-A for the rest of the season. Schimpf is a three true outcomes player, with 34 home runs, 69 walks and 175 strikeouts in 572 career plate appearances. He has more career home runs than he does singles (28). Schimpf can play both second and third base but is below average at both. His value to the Rays is in his lefthanded power and if he can make enough contact to get to it, which is no sure thing. If he can, he'll find a spot in their lineup more often than not.