The Tampa Bay Rays completed a six player deal with the Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon. The Rays sent Nate Lowe, minor league first baseman Jake Guenther, and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league catcher/outfielder Heriberto Hernandez, minor league infielder Osleivis Basabe, and minor league outfielder Alexander Ovalles.
The trade frees up a roster spot on the Rays 40-man roster which now stands at 38. For Lowe, the trade should finally present an opportunity for major league playing time not afforded to him with the Rays crowed infield including Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, and Mike Brosseau all able to man the position.
Texas utilized a hodge podge of players to man the position in 2020. Primarily they turned to Ronald Guzman 23 starts and now free agent Todd Frazier for 15. Guzman has appeared in 236 MLB games and slashed .230/.308/.417 with 30 homers spanning 809 plate appearances.
Tampa Bay selected Lowe, now 25 years old, in the 13th round of the 2016 draft out of Mississippi State University. At the time he was better knowns as Josh Lowe‘s older brother whom the Rays used the 13th overall pick earlier in the draft.
After steadily climbing the organization ladder Nate Lowe made a name for himself in 2018 when he appeared in 51 games in High-A, 51 games in Double-A, and 28 games in Triple-A slashing a combined .330/.416/.568 with 27 homers and 102 RBI.
He made his big league debut the following season in April against the Kansas City Royals (April 29, 2019) going 1-for-4. In two seasons with Tampa Bay he slashed .251/.322/.447 (55-for-219) with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games (55 starts).
Jake Guenther, 23, was selected by the Rays in the seventh round of the 2019 June Draft out of Texas Christian University. He played for Rookie-level Princeton in 2019, batting .320/.431/.423 (56-for-175) with 10 doubles, two home runs and 30 RBI in 48 games.
Hernandez, 20, is currently ranked by FanGraphs as the No. 112 overall prospect in the minors and No. 3 prospect in the Rangers system. Over two minor league seasons, he is batting .320/.450/.635 (121-for-378) with 32 doubles, 23 home runs and 98 RBI in 113 games.
Basabe, 20, is currently ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Rangers system by FanGraphs and the No. 20 prospect in the Rangers system by MLB.com. Over two minor league seasons, he is batting .334/.386/.439 (118-for-353) with 18 doubles, one home run, 66 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 89 games.
Ovalles, 20, is batting .299/.376/.456 (84-for-281) with 18 doubles, four home runs and 41 RBI in 70 games over two minor league seasons and two organizations. He was acquired by the Rangers on August 14, 2018 as a player to be named in the trade sending left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs. He was signed by the Cubs on July 27, 2017 out of the Dominican Republic.