The Indians announced today that they’ve acquired outfielder Brandon Guyer from the Rays. Minor league outfielder Nathan Lukes is going to Tampa Bay, as is minor legaue right-hander Jhonleider Salinas.
Guyer, 30, will give the Rays a massive upgrade against left-handed pitching, as he’s crushed southpaws at a .344/.488/.594 clip in 82 plate appearances this season and has a career .283/.384/.464 slash when holding the platoon advantage. He can also provide manager Terry Francona with quite a bit of defensive versatility, as he’s capable of handling all three outfield positions. Guyer is earning $1.185MM this season and is arbitration eligible two more times before reaching the open market upon completion of the 2018 season.
Neither of the two names heading back to Tampa Bay in this deal cracked the midseason version of the Indians’ Top 30 prospects at MLB.com. Lukes, 22, recently moved up to Class-A Advanced after hitting .301/.375/.453 with five homers and 14 steals in 393 plate appearances in the Class-A Midwest League. The 20-year-old Salinas, meanwhile, has logged 30 innings in the Arizona Rookie League and compiled a 3.30 ERA with a 38-to-14 K/BB ratio in 30 innings of work.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times first reported that Guyer had been traded (via Twitter) and that Salinas was in the deal. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that Guyer was going to Cleveland and Lukes was part of the package.