The Rays are dealing reliever JT Chargois and infielder Xavier Edwards to the Marlins for prospects Marcus Johnson and Santiago Suarez, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).
Chargois will step directly into the Miami bullpen. The hard-throwing righty owns a 2.49 ERA through 76 innings split between the Mariners and Rays over the past two seasons. He’s fanned a solid 23.2% of opponents against a manageable 8.3% walk rate, missing bats at a roughly league average clip. Chargois missed a couple months this past season due to tightness in his left oblique, but he managed a 2.42 ERA with a huge 59.7% ground-ball percentage when healthy.
It’s unlikely Chargois will continue to strand upwards of 80% of baserunners, as he has the last two years. ERA estimators have pegged his performance more in the mid-3.00s range, but he should still be an affordable power arm in the middle innings for first-year manager Skip Schumaker. Chargois held right-handed batters to a woeful .200/.235/.385 line this year. He’s in the first of three seasons of arbitration eligibility and projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a $1MM salary.
Edwards, a former Padres draftee, was a key piece of the deal that sent Blake Snell to San Diego. A switch-hitting infielder, he draws praise for his top-of-the-line speed and has played almost exclusively in the middle infield as a professional. Edwards appeared among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects during the 2019-20 offseason and ranked among the top ten in the strong Tampa Bay system as recently as this year.
The 23-year-old seemed to stall out at Triple-A Durham this season, however. Over 400 trips to the dish, he hit just .246/.328/.350 with five home runs. A 10.8% walk rate and 18.8% strikeout percentage are each solid, but the Florida native didn’t find much extra-base impact. He also swiped a career-low seven bases in 11 attempts.
Edwards would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not added to the 40-man roster this evening. Tampa Bay apparently wasn’t planning to do that, so they’ll deal him to a club that ostensibly is willing to put him on the roster. Moving Chargois clears a roster spot, and while it subtracts a productive big league reliever, it’s the kind of churn at the back of the 40-man roster to which the Rays have been accustomed.
In return, they’ll add a pair of further-away players to the farm system. Johnson was Miami’s fourth-round pick this year out of Duke. A 6’6″ right-handed pitcher, he signed for just north of $507K. Baseball America’s draft report noted the high spin rate on his slider and added that the 21-year-old sits in the 92-95 MPH range with his fastball. Suarez, 17, just signed with Miami as an amateur prospect from Venezuela. He made 11 starts in the Dominican Summer League this year.