D-backs acquire reliever Brad Boxberger from Tampa Bay

The Arizona Diamondbacks added a potential back-end piece to their bullpen Thursday, acquiring 29-year-old right-hander Brad Boxberger from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Boxberger, who was paid $1.6 million last season, was an American League All-Star in 2015, when he led the AL in saves with 41. He surrendered the Tampa Bay closing job to Alex Colome the following year after missing the first four months of the season following surgery for a core muscle tear. He also missed three months in 2017 due to a right flexor strain.

The D-backs traded minor-league pitcher Curtis Taylor to the Rays in the deal.

Boxberger, 6-feet-2 and 205 pounds,  has averaged 11.91 strikeouts per nine innings since 2014. He’s been unusually effective against left-handers batters — limiting them to a .188 batting average.

He pitch in a major-league game in 2017 until June 30 and finished with 30 appearances, compiling a 4-4 record and 3.38 ERA while striking out 40 batters and walking 11 over 29 1.3 innings.

Boxberger has a fastball, changeup, slider mix. His fastball velocity averaged 92.4 mph last season, down from 93.7 in 2015.

He has made 231 career appearances over six seasons — four with Tampa Bay and two with San Diego.

Taylor, 22, was a fourth-round draft pick of the D-backs in 2016. He started 13 games for Single-A Kane county in 2017, posting a 3-4 record and 3.32 EA with 68 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.

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