Oakland A’s acquire former top prospect Brent Honeywell, Jr. from Tampa Bay Rays

The Oakland A’s have announced that they have acquired former top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell, Jr. from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations.

Honeywell, Jr., 26, just made his MLB debut this season but has suffered through a long history of injuries.

New Oakland A’s pitcher Brent Honeywell, Jr. was a top prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays but had a lot of injuries.

New A’s pitcher Brent Honeywell, Jr. has long been regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. MLB.com ranked him as high as the #11 prospect in baseball prior to the 2018 season but due to injuries, Honeywell dropped all the way down to #91 before the 2020 season and off the list for 2021.

With the pandemic, Honeywell, Jr. had not pitched in a pro game since 2017. During Spring Training 2018, Honeywell, Jr. tore his UCL and required Tommy John surgery. While he was recovering from his Tommy John surgery in June 2019, he fractured a bone in his throwing elbow in a bullpen session so he was ruled out for the remainder of 2019.

Even if the pandemic didn’t wipe out most of 2020 for the majors and the entire minor league season, Honeywell, Jr. was unable to pitch anyways as he had another arm procedure in May that removed some scar tissue around a nerve in his throwing arm.

He pitched well in 2021 in Triple-A for the Rays in both a starting and a relief role but the Rays, who are stacked with pitching, ran out of patience and roster room for Honeywell, Jr.

As Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times noted on Twitter, Honeywell, Jr. was unlikely to make the Rays rotation in 2022 and he was out of minor league options so the Rays free a 40-man roster spot with the move and, therefore, they can protect more minor league players from the Rule V Draft.

The Oakland A’s were looking at some pitching depth and when Honeywell, Jr. is healthy, he can be a very good pitcher. The problem is that he hasn’t been healthy.