BOSTON — The Tampa Bay Rays acquired injured reliever Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox on Monday in an attempt to bolster their bullpen for the AL East stretch run.
The White Sox will receive players to be named or cash for Crain, a 32-year-old right-hander who is 2-3 with a 1.15 ERA in 38 appearances. He was placed on the disabled list on July 3 with a right shoulder strain.
“Jesse has been one of the top relievers in the American League, not only this season but also throughout his entire tenure with the White Sox,” Chicago general manager Rick Hahn said. “We cannot say enough about what Jesse has meant to our bullpen, and the positive impact he’s had on our young relievers. We certainly think he has the ability to influence this year’s pennant race very positively for the Rays.”
The deal was announced before the Rays faced the division-leading Red Sox in Boston on Monday night. Tampa Bay entered the night one-half game behind Boston in the AL East. Crain was expected to fly straight to Tampa Bay, where the Rays open a two-game series against the Arizona Diamonbacks on Tuesday night.
Chicago, which was in last place in the AL Central, had lost nine of 12 heading into Monday night’s game against the Indians.
“Obviously, we haven’t played up to expectations here,” Crain told reporters in Cleveland. “So to get a chance to get healthy and pitch for a team that’s (fighting for first place), there’s nothing more I could ask for.”
Crain made the All-Star team for the first time this year but did not pitch because he was injured. He said Monday he wasn’t surprised he was traded, but he is focused on trying to get healthy and help his new club.
“I had an idea but you don’t want to go all-in until you know for sure,” he said. “Now that it is, I’m excited.”
Crain is 45-30 with a 3.05 ERA in a 10-year career, the first in his 10th year, the first seven with the Minnesota Twins. He signed with the White Sox as a free agent after the 2010 season
“Great teammates, great city, the organization has been amazing to me,” Crain said. “It’s a time I’ll never forget. I’m going to miss these guys.”