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Rockies claim Jalen Beeks from Tampa Bay

The Rockies make their first significant move of the offseason

The Colorado Rockies announced they have claimed left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Beeks, 30, pitched a total of 42 13 innings across 30 games, including eight starts, with the Rays in 2023. It wasn’t his best year as he posted a 5.95 ERA but he did have a 3.82 FIP. He saw his strikeouts diminish in 2023 and had a 1.488 WHIP, the highest of his time in Tampa Bay. He had two outings in which he gave up five or more runs but was mostly solid in the 25 games of work he had from the start of the season to June 13th, where he was then shuffled back and forth between the big league club at Triple-A for the rest of the season where he appeared in just five games for Tampa Bay.

Originally drafted in the 12th round by the Boston Red Sox in 2014, Beeks made his big league debut in 2018, appearing in two games before being traded to the Rays for Nathan Eovaldi. From 2018 to 2020 Beeks posted a 4.54 ERA in 174 13 innings with 157 strikeouts and 48 walks. At the end of August in 2020, Beeks suffered a UCL tear and underwent Tommy John surgery that would cost him the 2021 season. He returned to the mound in 2022 where he posted a 2.80 ERA in 40 games over 61 innings with 70 strikeouts and 22 walks.

Over his career, Beeks has a career 22.6% strikeout rate and a 9.2% walk rate. He leans more towards ground balls at a 45.4% rate. He utilizes a four-pitch mix that features a four-seam fastball (94.3 mph), a changeup (89.6 mph), a cutter (85.7 mph), and a slider (81.6 mph). However, the majority of the time he works mainly off the fastball and changeup as his primary pitches depending on which handed batter is up to the plate. Typical righties will see the changeup more often as opposed to the fastball.

Beeks is arbitration-eligible and is slated to become a free agent in 2025. MLB Trade Rumors projects Beeks for a $1.8 million contract for 2024. The addition of Beeks gives the Rockies added depth for the left-handed reliever corps for 2024. Brent Suter is now a free agent and will explore the market. There is still a chance at a reunion but with the addition of Beeks the Rockies have Evan Justice, Justin Bruihl, and Lucas Gilbreath as possibilities out of the pen.

The Rockies have 36 players on the 40-man roster.