The Washington Nationals acquired right-handed pitcher Tanner Rainey from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Rainey, 25, went 7-2 with three saves and a 2.65 ERA in 44 games out of the bullpen for Triple-A Louisville in 2018. He struck out 65 batters, issued 35 walks and posted a .148 opponent batting average en route to being named an International League All-Star. Rainey surrendered just seven extra-base hits (5 doubles, 2 home runs) across 51.0 Minor League innings in 2018.
Among International League pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched in 2018, Rainey ranked 10th with 11.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. In four professional seasons, he has posted 11.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (339 strikeouts in 275.1 IP).
Rainey was particularly tough against right-handed batters in 2018, posting a .138/.266/.165 opponent slash line. He struck out 48 batters, walked 18 and allowed just three extra-base hits (3 doubles) along the way.
Rainey had his contract selected by the Cincinnati Reds on April 10 and made his Major League debut that day against the Philadelphia Phillies. He went on to make eight relief appearances across four stints with the Reds in 2018.
A native of Hammond, La., Rainey was selected by the Reds in the Competitive Balance Round B (No. 71 overall) of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of West Alabama.
Roark, 32, went 64-54 with a 3.59 ERA in 182 games (141 starts) across six seasons (2013-18) with the Washington Nationals.