The Rays have acquired outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash, the teams announced. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, Tampa Bay has transferred right-hander Jose De Leon to the 60-day disabled list.
Hazelbaker, whom the D-backs designated for assignment late last week, will head to Triple-A Durham. De Leon underwent Tommy John surgery during Spring Training, so he’ll be out for the entirety of the 2018 season.
The 30-year-old Hazelbaker will give the Rays some depth across the board in the outfield, as he’s plenty experienced in center and in both outfield corners. The left-handed-hitting Hazelbaker was the talk of MLB two years ago when he broke camp with the Cardinals and posted an absurd .317/.357/.683 slash in the month of April. However, he cooled off considerably over the remainder of the season and was ultimately waived by St. Louis and claimed by Arizona.
Last year with the D-backs, Hazelbaker logged 61 plate appearances and again posted some eye-popping numbers, hitting .346/.443/.577 with two doubles, two homers and two triples. In all, Hazelbaker is a .258/.327/.500 hitter in in 285 MLB plate appearances, and he owns a .277/.336/.452 slash in parts of seven Triple-A seasons.