Rays, Reds Finalize Trades For Jose De Leon, Brian O’Grady

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The Rays and Reds have worked out the final details of a pair of offseason trades between the two clubs, as per multiple reporters (including MLB.com’s Juan Toribio).  Back in November, the two clubs engaged in two trades, one that sent right-hander Jose De Leon to Cincinnati and (a week later) another that sent first baseman/outfielder Brian O’Grady to Tampa Bay.  Both trades saw the players exchanged for either cash considerations or a player to be named later, and today’s news confirms that the two teams have agreed to accept money to complete the transactions.

Cincinnati optioned De Leon to the minors two weeks ago, after the righty posted a 6.75 ERA over 2 2/3 Spring Training innings.  When and if the season gets underway, the 27-year-old De Leon will continue to work to get back to the form that made him a highly-touted top-40 prospect prior to the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  De Leon’s progress was halted, however, by Tommy John surgery in March 2018.  He returned to throw 56 minor league and four Major League innings in 2019.

O’Grady was also optioned to Triple-A just earlier today, which was expected given that the Rays already have a number of left-handed hitting first base options.  O’Grady’s ability to handle all three outfield positions could end up being his clearer path to playing time in Tampa Bay, as the Rays are forever looking for players with defensive versatility.  An eighth-round pick for the Reds in the 2014 draft, O’Grady made his MLB debut in 2019, making 48 plate appearances (and hitting .190/.292/.429) over 28 games.  The 27-year-old O’Grady has a .252/.354/.453 slash line over 2276 career PA in the minor leagues.

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