Rays' interest in Drew Rasmussen dates back to 2017

MLB Trade Rumors
MLB Trade Rumors
Drew Rasmussen seemed destined to end up on the Rays. Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays first looked into acquiring Drew Rasmussen from the Brewers last offseason, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes, well before Tampa finally landed the right-hander as part of the Willy Adames trade in May. However, Tampa Bay’s interest in Rasmussen really dates back to when the Rays selected him with the 31st pick of the 2017 draft, but a signing never took place because a post-draft physical revealed elbow damage, and led to the second Tommy John surgery of Rasmussen’s young career.

It was a disappointment for both Rasmussen and for veteran Rays scout Paul Kirsch, who brought the righty to the team’s attention after evaluating his high school outings. Kirsch did finally get to see Rasmussen pitch for the Rays in Seattle this past summer, which by that point counted as a rare trip to the ballpark for Kirsch after a three-year battle with ALS. Kirsch passed away in September, and Rosenthal’s piece serves as a moving tribute to Kirsch, a beloved figure in the Rays organization and around the scouting community.

More from around both the AL and NL East…

  • The Phillies haven’t yet had any talks with manager Joe Girardi about his contract, although president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski admitted to media (including The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber) earlier this week that he “didn’t even know” about the Phillies’ club option on Girardi for 2023 until asked by a reporter. The 2022 season is the last guaranteed campaign of Girardi’s original three-year contract with the club, and Dombrowski didn’t believe the manager would be bothered by the lack of longer-term security, and added that “I think Joe did a good job for us.” Girardi is 110-112 in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, a lack of success that has largely been attributed to the Phillies’ leaky bullpen and flawed roster construction more so than any specific failings on the manager’s part. Former Phils GM Matt Klentak hired Girardi after the 2019 season, before Dombrowski replaced Klentak last winter.
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