MLB Trades: The Rays and Mariners swap bullpen arms

The Rays and Mariners are both AL contenders and they've made what appears to be a good ol' fashioned challenge trade. The Rays acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Mariners in exchange for starter/reliever Erasmo Ramirez

The Rays head into Friday 1 1/2 games out of the second AL wild card spot. They need late-inning relief help and Cishek fits the bill. He's been an effective closer in the past but has handled setup duty as well. He's pitched to a 3.15 ERA, 100 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 20 innings this season. 

With Cishek in the fold, the Rays could opt to have him close or serve in a setup role with Brad Boxberger for Alex Colome

On the Mariners' end, they recently acquired David Phelps and he'll serve as the primary setup man for Edwin Diaz. With Ramirez, they now have someone who can spot start or serve as a long man if need be. Ramirez, 27, has a 4.80 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 55 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings this season. As a reliever, though, he has a 3.23 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. 

If the Rays are looking for a late-inning shutdown guy while the Mariners are hoping for more length with the ability to start, the deal makes sense for both sides. Plus, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto just likes making trades, right? So everyone is happy. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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