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Dodgers trade Luke Raley to Rays for pitcher Tanner Dodson

Opens up a spot on LA’s 40-man roster

National League Wild Card Game: St. Louis Cardinals v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Dodgers on Friday traded outfielder Luke Raley to the Rays in exchange for minor league pitcher Tanner Dodson. This clears a 40-man roster spot for the Dodgers, who later in the day signed free agent left-hander Tyler Anderson to a one-year contract.

The Dodgers-Rays trade was first reported by Jeff Passan at ESPN.

Raley has now been involved in three different Dodgers trades in his career. He was drafted by Los Angeles in the seventh round in 2016 out of Lake Erie College. The Dodgers traded him to the Twins as part of a deal for Brian Dozier at the 2018 trade deadline, then reacquired him as part of the Kenta Maeda/Brusdar Graterol trade in February 2020.

After spending time at the alternate site in 2020, Raley made his major league debut with the Dodgers last April 9. He appeared in 33 games in the majors in 2021, including eight starts in right field and seven starts in left field. Raley had 12 hits, including two home runs and a double, in 66 at-bats last season, hitting .182/.250/.288 with 25 strikeouts.

Raley batted once in the National League wild card game, and struck out.

Raley is one of 13 players drafted and signed by the Dodgers to reach the majors, their most prolific draft in team history in that regard.

“I mean, there’s a lot of good talent here and other places from that draft,” Raley said last April. “It’s a really cool thing to see and be a part of.”

Raley was originally scheduled to start in right field in the Dodgers’ spring training opener on Friday, but with the trade was a late scratch. Zach McKinstry started in right field instead.

Dodson was drafted by the Rays in the second round in 2018 out of Cal, and had a 3.20 ERA in 37 games between High-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery in 2021. The right-hander had 64 strikeouts (a 26.3-percent strikeout rate) and 23 walks in 56⅓ innings.

From Joshua T. Morgan at DRaysBay:

He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019 and early in the 2021 season he transitioned to the mound full time. In 56.1 innings as a multi inning reliever he put up a 3.20 ERA and 3.59 FIP. He posted a 26.3% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk rate. He throws an upper 90s fastball and high 80s slider.

Dodson was a two-way player in college, and played both center field and pitched in 2019, his first pro season. But he hasn’t played the outfield since 2019. The switch-hitter turns 25 in May.