Rays Agree To Deal Pagan To Padres

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ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- Just days before the start of Spring Training, the Tampa Bay Rays have made another deal using their strength.

The Rays have agreed to trade reliever Emilio Pagan to the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Manuel Margot and minor-league catcher/outfielder Logan Driscoll. The deal was first reported by Josh Tolentino of The Athletic.

Despite starting 2019 in Triple-A, Pagan solidified the back end of bullpen when Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo faltered. In 66 appearances at the big league level, Pagan went 4-2 with a 2.31 earned run average and 20 saves in 28 opportunities.

The 28-year-old pitcher is the second major piece of the 2019 Rays team that won 96 games dealt to San Diego, joining outfielder Tommy Pham, who was traded in December for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and minor-league infielder Xavier Edwards.

Margot, 25, played in a career-best 151 games for the Padres in 2019. He hit just .234/.304/.387 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI while also stealing 20 bases in 24 attempts.

The 22-year-old Driscoll, taken in the second round of the 2019 draft out of George Mason, spent his first year as a professional at Tri-Coty of the Northwest League, hitting .268/.340/.458 with three hme runs and 20 RBI in 39 games. He also played six games for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, going 6 for 19 with a pair of homers and three RBI.

The Rays released the following about the trade:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Tampa Bay Rays Communications) — The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder Manuel Margot and minor league catcher/outfielder Logan Driscoll from the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagán.

Margot (MAHR-go), 25, hit .234/.304/.387 (93-for-398) with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 37 RBI in 151 games (98 starts, all in center field) last season with the Padres. In his third full season at the major league level, he established career highs in games, runs (59), walks (38) and stolen bases (20) while his 12 home runs were one shy of tying a career high. He hit lefties at a .330/.420/.466 (34-for-103) clip and ranked seventh in the National League in avg. and sixth in on-base pct. against left-handed pitching (min. 100 AB). He was successful on 20 of 24 stolen base attempts (83.3 pct.), the sixth-best rate in the NL.

Margot ranked second among NL center fielders with a .992 fielding pct., trailing Gold Glove winner Lorenzo Cain (.994) of the Milwaukee Brewers. According to StatCast, he ranked seventh among major league outfielders and fourth among NL outfielders with 11 Outs Above Average, which is the cumulative effect of all individual catch probability plays with which a fielder was credited or debited. In addition, he ranked fourth in the majors and second in the NL in StatCast’s metric measuring best outfielder “jumps” at 1.6 feet above average.

Over parts of four seasons in the majors, all with the Padres, Margot is batting .248/.301/.394 (347-for-1,399) with 33 home runs, 130 RBI and 50 stolen bases in 428 games. In 2017, he finished sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year race, receiving one second-place vote and two third-place votes. He was acquired by the Padres from the Red Sox in November 2015 as part of a five-player trade involving Craig Kimbrel. He was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in July 2011.

Driscoll, 22, made his professional debut last season, batting .268/.340/.458 (38-for-142) with three home runs and 20 RBI in 39 games for Short-A Tri-City. He played six games for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, batting .316 (6-for-19) including a multi-HR game in his AFL debut. He was selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2019 June Draft out of George Mason University, becoming the highest draft pick in program history. He hit .337/.427/.513 (188-for-558) with 17 home runs and 108 RBI in three collegiate seasons and earned first team All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2018 and 2019.

Pagán, 28, went 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA (70-IP, 18-ER) in 66 appearances for the Rays last season. Despite spending the first two weeks in Triple-A Durham, he led the Rays bullpen with 20 saves and 96 strikeouts. He recorded the third-highest strikeout total in Rays history for a reliever, behind Ryan Yarbrough (106) in 2018 and Brad Boxberger (104) in 2014. Over three major league seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2017), Oakland Athletics (2018) and the Rays (2019), he is 9-6 with a 3.26 ERA (182.1-IP, 66-ER) in 155 appearances. He was acquired by the Rays in December 2018 in a three-team trade and selected by the Mariners in the 10th round of the 2013 June Draft out of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

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