The Rays announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired right-hander Tony Locey from the Rockies in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. He’s not on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move isn’t necessary.
Locey, 24, is one of four players the Rockies acquired from the Cardinals in the trade that sent Nolan Arenado to St. Louis. The Cardinals also sent Austin Gomber, Elehuris Montero and minor league infielder Mateo Gil to Colorado in that swap.
In 2022, Locey reached the Double-A level for the first time but saw his longstanding command issues continue while opponents hit him harder than ever before. After beginning the ’22 season with a 3.09 ERA through 67 innings in High-A (despite a 13.9% walk rate), Locey was hammered for a 12.11 ERA in 35 2/3 innings. He yielded 48 runs on 60 hits, 28 walks and five hit batters, striking out just 28 of his 197 opponents along the way (14.7%).
Overall, Locey has walked 14.7% of the opponents he’s faced since being selected in the third round by the Cardinals out of the University of Georgia back in 2019. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen wrote in his 2021 report on Locey that he had a heater that could run up to 97 mph but noted the following year that his velocity had dipped. Locey was used as a starter in 20 of his 26 appearances with the Rockies this past season, but it’s possible the Rays will shift him into a bullpen role, given the ongoing command troubles and poor results in the rotation.