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Arizona Diamondbacks trade for Brad Boxberger: And So It Begins

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The Diamondbacks made have made their first move of the offseason.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The D-backs announced today that they’ve acquired right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger from the Rays in exchange for minor league right-hander Curtis Taylor.

Boxberger (age 29) made his debut with the Rays in 2012, and has had a great run of success for Tampa Bay. With the exception of a rocky 2016, the right-hander has been a strong asset in Tampa’s bullpen, even serving as an all-star closer in 2015, when he racked up 41 saves to go along with his 3.71 ERA and 10.6 strikeouts per nine.

Boxberger will join the Diamondbacks entering his second arbitration season. MLBTR projects a 2018 salary of $1.9 million for the 2018 season. Should he work out for Arizona, the Diamondbacks will have control of him for 2019 as well, before he reaches free agency in 2020.

In exchange, the Diamondbacks sent 22-year-old, tall (6’ 6”) right-hander Curtis Taylor to Tampa. Depending on the source, Taylor ranked anywhere from 13th-20th in Arizona’s embattled farm system. The 2016 fourth-round draft pick features a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a hard slider that usually works in the upper 80s but that has also touched the low 90s. Although the Diamondbacks have thus far been developing him as a starter, almost all indications are that his future is in the bullpen. A shift to full-time bullpen development could have Taylor reaching the majors as soon as sometime in 2019.