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Twins deal slugger Nelson Cruz to Rays

Minnesota is getting two starting pitchers in return.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz watches his grand slam during the second inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Monday, April 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have dealt slugger Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays for a pair of right-handed minor league pitchers.

Cruz, who was selected to the MLB All-Star Game earlier this month, was packaged with minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher in exchange for starting pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman.

Ryan is 4-3 in 12 appearances this season with the Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate. He's posted a 3.63 ERA while striking out 75 batters in 57 innings pitched.

Strotman is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA and has recorded 62 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.

Cruz joined the Twins in 2019 and made an immediate impact by winning his third career Silver Slugger Award, which is given to the best offensive player at each position.