The Tampa Bay Rays are the first American League East club to make a big splash ahead of the 2021 MLB trade deadline.
Thursday, it was announced the Rays have acquired designated hitter Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins. In return, Minnesota gets right-handed pitching prospects Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman.
The Boston Red Sox weren't considered suitors for Cruz -- they're all set at DH thanks to J.D. Martinez -- but this isn't the news they wanted to hear. The Rays are only one game behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings, and now they're adding one of the most feared hitters in MLB to their lineup.
With the trade deadline only a week away on July 30, we should expect the Red Sox to make a move or two of their own in the coming days. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has made it clear that the team doesn't plan on standing pat.
Cruz, 41, is hitting .294/.370/.537 with 19 home runs this season.