The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired right-handed relief pitcher Burke Badenhop from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league catcher Jake Jefferies.
The right-hander has spent parts of the last four season with the Marlins, going 13-15 with a 4.34 ERA over 151 appearances (10 starts) in the major leagues. He was acquired by the Marlins as part of the 2007 Miguel Cabrera trade after originally being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 19th round of the 2005 June Amateur Draft.
In 2011 after initially beginning the season at AAA New Orleans, the 28-year-old reliever went 2-3 in 50 appearances for the Marlins while posting a 4.10 ERA and striking out 51 hitters in 63.2 innings.
Badenhop is successful at generating ground ball outs (58.5% in 2011) because of a 88-90 fastball that has plus sink. He also features an above-average change-up and a breaking ball that has greatly improved in the past few seasons.
He was a non-tender candidate for the Marlins, and the Rays immediately tendered a contract to Badenhop upon acquiring him. He is expected to compete for a bullpen spot with other recent Rays' acquisitions Josh Lueke and Jhonny Nunez during Spring Training.
Jeffries split the 2011 season between A Charlotte and AA Montgomery. He combined to hit .238 with two home runs and 32 RBI.
In four minor league seasons Jeffries has a career .254 average in 349 games with 13 home runs and 153 RBI. In the field he has a lifetime .989 fielding percentage and has thrown out 23 percent of opposing base-stealers.
John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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