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The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder/first baseman Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Ronny Simon. As part of the deal, the D-backs designated pitcher Brett de Geus for assignment.
Luplow slashed .202/.326/.454 in 2021 with 11 homers, eight doubles and 28 RBI over 62 games with the Cleveland Guardians and Tampa Bay Rays.
Over his five-year career, Luplow has a batting line of .225/.326/.454 with 32 homers and 94 RBIs in 736 plate appearances.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Luplow in the third round in 2014. He broke into the big leagues with Pittsburgh in 2017 at the age of 23. In 2018, the Pirates traded him to Cleveland.
Luplow broke out the following season, slashing .276/.372/.552 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs in 85 games. He then struggled mightily in 2020.
Like many of his new teammates, Luplow plays multiple positions. In 2021, he logged 22 games in centerfield, 17 at first base, 11 in right field and six in left field.
The D-backs’ roster is already stacked with left-handed hitters, so the 28-year-old’s right-handed bat is a welcome addition. Although he posted reverse splits in 2021, Luplow has fared significantly better against left-handed pitching in his career with a .247/.345/.548 batting line against southpaws.
The Rays took advantage of that in the American League Division Series, starting Luplow against Red Sox lefties Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez and using him as a pinch-hitter against left-handed relievers. Luplow went 2-for-7 with a walk in those opportunities, including a grand slam in game two against Sale.
Luplow will join Pavin Smith, Josh Rojas, Daulton Varsho, David Peralta, Jake McCarthy, and potentially Ketel Marte on the D-backs’ outfield depth chart, while also figuring to get time at first base.
Luplow underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle in mid-October, but he is expected to be ready for the 2022 season.
Simon was acquired by the D-backs last year as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Andrew Chafin to the Chicago Cubs. At 21 years old, Simon slashed .245/.329/.454 in 2021 with 17 homers, 63 RBIs, 23 doubles, three triples and 19 stolen bases for the Visalia Rawhide and Hillsboro Hops.
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