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Rays complete swap with Tigers to get Casali


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay and Detroit completed a Minor League deal Monday, when the Rays acquired catcher Curt Casali for left-hander Kyle Lobstein.

Casali, 24, was a non-roster invite to Major League camp with the Tigers this spring and played in seven games before being reassigned to Minor League camp on March 4.

Casali was originally selected by the Tigers in the 10th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University. He hit .270 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 94 games between Class A West Michigan and Class A Advanced Lakeland. He has hit .263 with a .365 on-base percentage, 57 walks and only 60 strikeouts in 129 career games over two Minor League seasons.

"He handles a staff well, and he's gonna play in the big leagues," said Tigers president Dave Dombrowski, in speaking of Casali. "It's just matter of if he's going to hit enough to be an everyday player, or if he's going to be in a position where he comes up as a backup, and only time will tell. But he'll have a better opportunity there than he would here."

Lobstein, 23, had been selected from the Rays by the Mets in December's Rule 5 Draft and was traded the same day to the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations. Since Lobstein did not make the Tigers' Major League roster, the Rule 5 rules would have dictated his return to the Rays had the trade not been made.

The left-hander was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and had a 30-30 record with a 3.85 ERA over four Minor League seasons with the Rays, reaching as high as Double-A Montgomery last year.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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