What Sox get for Jesse Crain depends on post-injury performance
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org
FILE: Rays Trade For All-Star Reliever Jesse Crain
CLEVELAND — Reliever Jesse Crain will join the Tampa Bay Rays when he’s healthy enough to pitch. How he performs when that happens will determine what the White Sox get in return.
The Sox on Monday traded Crain, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, and cash considerations to the Rays for players to be named or cash considerations. The move came two days before the non-waiver trade deadline Wednesday.
General manager Rick Hahn will have a pool of players to pick from at a later date. He called the deal complicated but came away with a trade when it was thought to be unlikely because of Crain’s injury.
The injury ‘‘played a huge role in doing it this way,’’ said Hahn, whose alternative was a post-deadline deal involving the complicated waiver process.
‘‘That was not a very appealing alternative when compared with negotiating a deal prior to the deadline and with the complexities involved in what’s fair compensation for a guy currently on the DL,’’ Hahn said.
Crain, who set a Sox record by making 29 consecutive scoreless appearances, has a 0.74 ERA this season and a 2.10 ERA in 156 appearances with the Sox since 2011. He will be eligible for free agency after the season.
Crain said he is confident he’ll be ready to pitch soon. He said he was pleased and ‘‘excited’’ to be going to a contender but had nothing but good things to say about his time in Chicago.
‘‘Great, great teammates,’’ Crain said in the visitors’ clubhouse at Progressive Field before he left to join the Rays. ‘‘Great city. I had an organization that’s been amazing to me. They brought me in here for three years and treated me unbelievably. I think I got better over three years here, for sure. I can see that. It’s time I’ll never forget, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of that.’’
Said Rays GM Andrew Friedman to reporters in Boston: ‘‘We feel like, when healthy, Jesse is among the best relief pitchers in the game.’’
Bouquet for Flowers
Sox pitchers have a 3.75 ERA with Tyler Flowers catching and a 4.38 ERA — albeit in significantly fewer innings — with Josh Phegley catching. If that’s a compliment tossed his way, Flowers will take it.
‘‘I definitely think there is something to it,’’ Flowers said of that stat. ‘‘You can only do as well as what you’ve got, but that’s important to a catcher. It’s something you pay attention to. If the other catcher’s numbers are dramatically better, it might be an indication to pay attention to what he’s doing.’’
Tom ‘‘Wimpy’’ Paciorek will fill in for analyst Steve Stone on the TV broadcast Tuesday. Stone worked the game Monday but continues to battle an infection that kept him out of the booth last week.