(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired right-handed pitcher Chris Mazza, left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for catcher Ronaldo Hernández and minor league infielder Nick Sogard. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks (recovery from Tommy John surgery) was placed on the 60-day injured list.
Mazza (MAHZ-uh), 31, made nine appearances (six starts) over three stints with the Red Sox last season: July 27–August 5, August 16 and August 29 through the end of the season. He went 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA (30-IP, 16-ER), including 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA (22-IP, 9-ER) in six appearances (four starts) in September. He made his major league debut for the New York Mets in 2019 and is 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA (46.1-IP, 26-ER) in 18 career appearances (six starts). He was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 27th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft out of Menlo (Calif.) College, where he was a closer and a shortstop. He is a third cousin of National Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio and Red Sox Hall of Famer Dom DiMaggio.
Springs, 28, went 0-2 with a 7.08 ERA (20.1-IP, 16-ER) in 16 appearances, all in relief, last season for the Red Sox. He made his second consecutive Opening Day roster and was with the Red Sox for two stints: Opening Day–August 10 and August 22–September 25. He pitched to a 3.86 ERA (11.2-IP, 5-ER) with 18 strikeouts in his final 10 appearances of the season. He has spent parts of the last three seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers (2018-19) and Red Sox (2020) and is 5-4 with a 5.42 ERA (84.2-IP, 51-ER) in 59 career appearances (two starts). He was selected by the Rangers in the 30th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of Appalachian State University.
Hernández, 23, was part of the Rays 60-man player pool for the 2020 season and spent the summer at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla. He was on the taxi squad for the August 10-20, August 28–September 2 and September 17-23 road trips and was also part of the Rays 40-man player pool for the postseason. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in the Rays system following the season. He spent the entire 2019 season with Class-A Charlotte, earning Florida State League postseason All-Star honors. He is a career .293 (373-for-1,271) hitter over five minor league seasons.
Sogard, 23, was selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2019 Amateur Draft out of Loyola Marymount University. He made his professional debut with Short-A Hudson Valley after signing, batting .290 (62-for-214) with 21 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 63 games. His cousin, Eric, is a 10-year veteran and played for the Rays in the second half of the 2019 season. His uncle, Steve Sax, was a five-time All-Star and won World Series titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 and 1988.
Photo Courtesy Of Getty Images