The Indians have announced a swap with the Rays in which they’ll acquire utility infielder Andrew Velazquez. An unstated amount of international spending capacity will head to Tampa Bay in return.
To create 40-man roster space, the Indians have designated righty Chih-Wei Hu for assignment. The 25-year-old has been hit hard this year at Triple-A, allowing 16 home runs in 48 2/3 innings.
Soon to turn 25, Velazquez is an exceptionally versatile player. In limited MLB action, he has already been trusted to play shortstop, second, third, and all three outfield positions.
Velazquez has shown some stolen-base ability and a bit of pop in the upper minors, though he’s not exactly a premium offensive prospect. He has swung through quite a few pitches in his early exposure to MLB pitching and has gone down on strikes 154 times in 602 career Triple-A plate appearances, over which he carries a .261/.320/.418 slash.