The Tampa Bay Rays made a small move Monday morning, sending Chih-Wei Hu to the Indians in exchange for prospect Gionti Turner, a second baseman.
The Tampa Bay Rays gained some flexibility regarding their 40-man roster this morning by trading right-handed pitcher Chih-Wei Hu to Cleveland. We could see a few more moves just like this as the Rays look to create space on their roster to protect at least four prospects form the Rule 5 draft. With the deadline on November 30th, expect to see more of these trades.
The 25 year old right hander has made eleven total appearances at the big league level for the Rays. In total Hu has thrown 23 innings, with a 3.52 ERA and 21 strikeouts. Overall he appeared in 6 games in 2017 and 5 games in 2018. At Durham this year he made 24 appearances, with 19 being starts. He finished the year with a 4.66 ERA across 102.1 innings.
In return for Hu, the Indians sent second baseman Gionti Turner to Tampa Bay. The 18 year old 27th round pick of the Indians wasn’t an Indian very long, only 46 professional games to be exact. After singing his professional contract for 125,000 dollars, the Indians assigned the slender 6’2″, 178 pound second baseman to their Arizona League affiliate.
The kid can hit, with a .296 batting average across 169 at-bats as proof. Turner, had an OBP of .348 and slugged .396. He drove in 22 runners and hit ten doubles and a pair of triples. He isn’t in the Indians top 30 prospects. After over hitting .208 the first seven games of the season, Turner would reach base in 24 of the next 28 games by way of a hit.
The native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas saw a majority of time at second base and even got some time at shortstop and center field. It will be fun to watch Gionti develop in the years to come as he only turned eighteen on August 17th.
Gionti is said to be one of the most entertaining players on the field at all times and will likely be assigned to the Rays rookie ball affiliate in Princeton.
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With no need to add Turner to the 40-man roster, Tampa’s roster sits at 39 and they will need to clear at least 3 more spaces to add prospects such as Jesus Sanchez and Joe McCarthy. Keep an eye out for more moves int he coming days.