After trading Mike Montgomery in July and Vidal Nuno earlier this month, general manager Jerry Dipoto is looking for southpaws for the Seattle bullpen and feels Pazos could help there immediately.
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"That's a real need of ours and we'll continue to look to address those needs," Dipoto said. "But James is a big arm, and he's performed quite well at the Minor League level. He still has two [Minor League] options, so he's a flexible piece. But he'll enter Spring Training as a guy with a chance to make our club."
Pazos pitched in 18 games for the Yankees over the past two seasons, posting a 5.40 ERA in 8 1/3 innings in limited duty. But the 6-foot-2, 235 pounder out of Arizona was 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 19 walks in 27 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year and features a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and quality curve.
Littell, 21, was 13-6 with a 2.66 ERA in 28 games, including 27 starts, between Class A Clinton and Class A Advanced Bakersfield.
The two Tampa Bay additions also will get a good look next spring as Dipoto continues looking to improve wherever possible.
"Motter and Shaffer help us create the depth that is critical to our success," said Dipoto. "They are two defensively versatile players who have offensive skill. Shaffer brings power and Motter brings on-base ability and speed. Their additions give us players with Major League experience who allow us to maintain our roster flexibility throughout the season."
Shaffer, 25, played 51 games with the Rays at first base, third base and right field over the past two seasons and put up a .213/.310/.410 line with five home runs and 10 RBIs in 122 at-bats.
Shaffer hit .227 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs in 119 games for Triple-A Durham last season and .250 with one homer and four RBIs in 20 games for the Rays. He was a first-round Draft pick (25th overall) by the Rays in 2012 out of Clemson, played in the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and was the Rays' Minor League Player of the Year in 2015 after hitting 26 home runs with 72 RBIs between Double-A Montgomery and Durham.
Motter, 27, is another player who can fill in at multiple positions. He posted a .188/290/.300 line with two homers and nine RBIs in 80 at-bats over 34 games for the Rays last season, his first in the Majors.
Motter started games at all four infield positions as well as in right and left field and also pitched a third of an inning of relief for Tampa Bay. He also hit .229 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs in 88 games for Durham.
Kittredge, 26, is the most advanced of the prospects sent to the Rays. The University of Washington product out of Spokane, Wash., pitched in 23 games for Triple-A Tacoma last season, posting a 3.55 ERA in 38 innings, including one start. He was also 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 games, with four starts, for Double-A Jackson.
Kelly is a 22-year-old who had a good season at Class A Clinton, where he posted a .293/.384/.416 line with seven homers and 58 RBIs in 130 games. He was a 38th-round Draft pick in 2015 out of UC-Santa Barbara.
Thompson figures to have the most upside of the prospects in the deal. He was selected in the fourth-round of the 2015 Draft out of Socastee High in Myrtle Beach, Fla., and went 2-1 with a 2.36 EA in nine games (five starts) that year in the Arizona Rookie League.
But due to injuries, Thompson pitched only three games (one start) this year in the AZL with a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings.