(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have traded left-handed pitcher José Alvarado to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger, then traded Cleavinger to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league first baseman Dillon Paulson and a player to be named. In addition, the Rays have agreed to terms with catcher Kevan Smith on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Alvarado, 25, was limited to nine appearances in 2020 due to left shoulder inflammation, and went 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA (9-IP, 6-ER) and 13 strikeouts. He also was added to the Rays American League Championship Series roster and made two scoreless appearances spanning 1.2 innings. Over parts of four major league seasons (2017-20), all with the Rays, he is 2-15 with 15 saves and a 3.46 ERA (132.2-IP, 51-ER). He has recorded 161 strikeouts (10.92 SO/9 IP) against 71 walks, and has held opponents to a .212 batting average. He was signed by the Rays out of Venezuela on March 13, 2012.
Paulson, 23, has hit .253/.373/.464 (162-for-640) with 47 doubles, 26 home runs, 125 RBI and 124 walks over two minor league seasons (2018-19). In 2019, his only full minor league season, the left-handed hitter opened with Class-A Great Lakes and was named a Midwest League midseason All-Star before a July 18 promotion to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Between those two levels, he combined to hit .243/.366/.433 (101-for-416) with 27 doubles, 16 home runs, 64 RBI and 82 walks. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2018 June Draft out of the University of Southern California.
Cleavinger, 26, allowed a run in 0.2 innings of work in his only appearance for the Phillies, making his major league debut on September 17 vs. the New York Mets. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 2015 June Draft out of the University of Oregon, and was traded to the Phillies as part of the return for Jeremy Hellickson in July 2017.
Smith, 32, appeared in 17 games and made nine starts over two stints with the Rays in 2020, his first season in the organization. He hit .258/.378/.452 (8-for-31) with three doubles, one home run and eight RBI, including .333 (4-for-12) with runners in scoring position. He has totaled 230 games (183 starts) in the majors over five seasons with the Chicago White Sox (2016-18), Los Angeles Angels (2019) and Rays (2020), and is a career .272/.321/.384 (186-for-685) hitter with 13 home runs and 79 RBI. He was selected by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2011 June Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh.
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