MLB Rumors: The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up Peter Fairbanks, the righthanded reliever acquired from the Texas Rangers in July, according to reports. The Rangers acquired minor league second baseman/outfielder Nick Solak in the deal.
Fairbanks, 25, had a mercurial rise to the big leagues this season. A 9th round pick out of the University of Missouri in 2015, he missed most of the 2017-18 seasons due to his second Tommy John surgery. After creating buzz in spring training, he started the 2019 season at high-A Down East, quickly moved to Frisco, and then to Nashville, before the Rangers called him up to the majors in June. After a mix of solid and rough outings, Fairbanks was returned to Nashville, and was pitching there before he was dealt to Tampa.
The Rays will have Fairbanks reinforcing their bullpen, and he could be a viable option as an opener as well. He has a 3.48 ERA in 10.1 IP for Durham, the Rays’ AAA club, with 19 Ks against 6 walks. Tampa will be the sixth team he will have pitched for this season, which, if not a record, is at least pretty unusual.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have to feel good about their return in the deal. Solak, 24, has been tearing up the PCL since coming to the Rangers’ organization. He has a .347/.380/.703 slash line for Nashville in 109 plate appearances, while playing second base and the corner outfield spots. He is Rule 5 eligible after the season, and while he’s limited defensively, he’s performing well enough that the Rangers may want to bring him up in September and see how he fares against major league pitching when the rosters expand.