Rays ship out another veteran pitcher, trading Phil Maton to Mets

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays shipped out another struggling pitcher on Tuesday, trading Phil Maton to the Mets.

The return won’t be much, either a player to be named or cash.

The Rays signed Maton at the start of spring training to a pricey (for them) $6.25 million contract, with a $7.75 million option or a $225,000 buyout, expecting him to play a big role in their bullpen. The trade shifts the remaining money owed to the Mets.

But the 31-year-old right-hander struggled much of the season, posting a 1-2 record and 4.58 ERA, allowing an excessive number of baserunners (52) in 35-1/3 innings, including 29 hits, 18 walks and five hit batters.

He has been better of late, with a 0.75 ERA over his last 11 games.

Manuel Rodriguez was called up from Triple-A Durham to replace Maton. Rodriguez, who spent time earlier this season with the Rays, had a 1.09 ERA in 23 games for the Bulls.

In the last few weeks, the Rays designated for assignment and released reliever Chris Devenski and traded starter Aaron Civale to the Brewers.

Paredes still enjoying All-Star accolades

The days after being named an American League All-Star also were pretty exciting for Rays infielder Isaac Paredes.

Since getting the news in a team meeting before Sunday’s game in Texas, Paredes said he has enjoyed the experience.

“This is a very good feeling,” he said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “This is something you play for and have a goal for. I’m hoping to keep my emotions under control and just enjoy the moment when I’m there.”

Having some family in town this week, including his young daughter and his grandparents, added to the fun.

“All Sunday I had time to think about it a little bit, and on Monday when my family showed up I had a little more time to process it,” he said.

Manager Kevin Cash said the Rays were excited about the selection of Paredes, who entered Tuesday leading the team in homers (14), RBIs (47), on-base percentage (.358), slugging percentage (.462), OPS (.820), extra-base hits (32) and total bases (144).

“He’s meant a lot,” Cash said.

Paredes was the 50th All-Star selection in the Rays’ 27-season franchise history and the 12th player (17th instance) to be honored in their age 25-or-younger season.

Rehab report

Jeffrey Springs was slated to work four-five innings for Triple-A Durham Tuesday night in his fifth start for the Bulls as he heads to the end of his rehab from April 2023 Tommy John surgery. Springs is likely to make a couple more starts for Durham. … Lefty reliever Richard Lovelady, out since early June with a left forearm strain, will start his rehab assignment there on Thursday. … Right-hander Drew Rasmussen, recovering from July 2023 elbow surgery, will throw a two-inning live batting practice Saturday and is on track to start a rehab assignment after the All-Star break. … Top prospect Junior Caminero started his rehab from a late May quad strain Tuesday with the Florida Complex League team. He hit a three-run homer as part of a 1-for-4 day. … Infielder Osleivis Basabe also started his rehab from an April right wrist fracture and went 0-for-2 with two walks.

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Before throwing out the first pitch Saturday, former Rays great Evan Longoria will sign autographs for free from 1-2 p.m. at the team store. To get as many fans in as possible, the team said there will be no inscriptions or photographs allowed. … Cash on the Yankees dynamic duo of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto: “I don’t know if you can find a better one; they’re right there at the top. Both are extremely talented. I looked at their numbers, certainly Aaron Judge’s numbers, a minute ago — he’s got a full season worth of numbers, and we’re at the halfway point.”

Contact Marc Topkin at Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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