Aaron Civale trade: Brewers to acquire Rays pitcher in boost to first-place club's rotation, per report

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The Milwaukee Brewers are obtaining right-hander Aaron Civale from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Civale, 29, was also traded last deadline, that time from Cleveland to Tampa Bay. His time with the Rays qualifies as a disappointment, as he amassed a 5.17 ERA (77 ERA+) and a 3.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the course of 27 starts. In particular, he struggled with the long ball, surrendering 1.6 home runs for every nine innings pitched.

Civale is under team control for an additional season, meaning that he could serve as more than a rental for the Brewers if they’re able to help him keep the ball inside the playing field more often.

Our Dayn Perry wrote about the Brewers’ need for pitching earlier this week:

For some context, the Brewers’ offense ranks an impressive seventh in MLB in runs scored, and the bullpen is an even more impressive fourth in the league in relief ERA. The rotation, however, checks in at 18th in starters’ ERA, 29th in innings, 23rd in K/BB ratio, 27th in strikeouts, and 29th in quality-start percentage. That’s a serious weakness, and it’s one that could undo them even with their quite large lead in the division. Milwaukee, according to Cot’s/Baseball Prospectus estimates, has a bottom-ten payroll, but owner Mark Attanasio may be unwilling to increase that in the name of an improved rotation. 

The Brewers enter Wednesday with a 51-35 record, giving them a sizable six-game lead in the National League Central.

The Rays, meanwhile, are off to a disappointing 43-42 start. Tampa Bay is expected to have several pitchers return to their rotation over the coming weeks, including Shane Baz and Jeffrey Springs. The Rays, then, may not be done trading way starting pitchers, with Zach Eflin standing out as a potential candidate to change teams over the coming weeks.

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