July 19, 2024

Brewers acquire right-hander Aaron Civale from Rays: Source

The division-leading Milwaukee Brewers struck early to bolster an obvious need in their starting rotation, acquiring right-hander Aaron Civale from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday in exchange for minor-league infielder Gregory Barrios, a league source confirmed to The Athletic.

The move, which was first reported by the New York Post, comes nearly a month away from the July 30 trade deadline. With it, the Brewers (51-35) gain a boost for a starting rotation that ranks near the bottom in innings pitched.

Meanwhile, the Rays added by dealing from an area of depth. With Jeffrey Springs and Shane Baz nearing a return from injury, The Athletic reported recently that the Rays would be open to dealing some of their starting pitching, and that Civale would be one of the likeliest to be moved.

Civale, 29, has a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts. He won’t be a free agent until 2026 and is making $4.9 million this year.

The Brewers have already used 15 different starting pitchers this season. Milwaukee’s rotation before adding Civale included: Freddy Peralta, Bryse Wilson, Colin Rea, Tobias Myers and Dallas Keuchel (whom they had recently acquired). Of that list, only Peralta — the club’s top pitcher — has been a mainstay for the Brewers during this recent stretch of contention.

Club officials have been encouraged by Myers and the team has used openers to shield Wilson and Rea. Though Milwaukee viewed their way of doing things within their pitching staff as sustainable, they clearly needed reinforcements as well.

Barrios, 20, landed just outside Keith Law’s Top 20 ranking of Brewers prospects. A native of Venezuela, Barrios struggled against Low-A pitching a season ago, though this season at High-A he’s slashing .317/.361/.423. Offensively, Barrios has demonstrated improved contact skills, which helped lead to better results. Scouts also called Barrios a “special defender,” who has a knack for making flashy plays.



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(Photo of Aaron Civale pitching last month: Charles LeClaire / USA Today)