Rays trade for Twins All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz in huge move

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One of the Yankees’ rivals has beefed up their lineup.

The Rays have traded for Minnesota slugger Nelson Cruz, the Twins announced on Thursday. Cruz, 41, earned his seventh career All-Star nod this season.

Minnesota received minor league pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman, while Tampa Bay also is acquiring minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher.

In 85 games for Minnesota this season, Cruz has 19 home runs with 50 RBIs and a slash line of .294/.370/.537. He has been mashing lefties to the tune of a 1.010 OPS in 119 plate appearances.

The move comes with the Rays (57-39) one game behind the AL East-leading Red Sox entering Thursday. The Yankees, who begin a four-game set in Boston on Thursday night, were seven games behind the Sox entering the series.

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