Thursday, November 29, 2007

Could The Tampa Bay Rays Be On The Way Up?

With the talk of Santana being traded, as well Joe Nathan, and the departure of Torii Hunter, the Minnesota Twins & Tampa Bay Rays made a blockbuster trade last night featuring two up-and-coming young players as the centerpiece.

The Rays exchanged Delmon Young for Twins' hurler Matt Garza as the centerpiece of the trade.

The Twins needs offense and an outfielder, and Tampa sorely needs pitching.

From ESPN:

'The Minnesota Twins weren't worried about Delmon Young's troubled past. They wanted his bat, and they wanted it badly.

Young was traded by Tampa Bay to Minnesota on Wednesday night as part of a six-player deal that sent right-hander Matt Garza to the Rays.

In a swap of promising youngsters that's been discussed for weeks, the Twins also gave up starting shortstop Jason Bartlett and minor league pitcher Eduardo Morlan while acquiring shortstop Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Jason Pridie.
The move obviously fills the needs for both teams; however, I cannot understand why Tampa would move Delmon Young considering what he in '07, and his contract status right now.

Buster Olney in his blog raises this crucial point...

'While Young's talent is extraordinary -- on Wednesday evening, one AL East executive compared his ability to make consistently hard contact to a young Vladimir Guerrero -- the Rays had to wonder, internally, about whether Young was ever going to grow as a hitter and make necessary adjustments while with Tampa Bay. Maybe he will learn to be a more selective hitter in Minnesota, while taking batting practice daily with Joe Mauer, but in Tampa Bay, he was surrounded by other very young players, the kind of structure that wasn't going to nudge him to change...'

We shall see what happens, but both teams needed to make to fill up some holes. I see Tampa's pitching greatly improving and they having a core of young starters growing together and they getting some more established talent. However, I think Minnesota, in the long run will be the big winners of the trade as they get a good young player in Young, who could be something close to a franchise star if he improves.

I saw enough of the Rays in Baltimore to know that their pitching, both starting and relief were weak, if not woeful. I think if they can improve their pitching and perhaps loosen the financial purse strings a little, Tampa is a team to watch out for.

Where does that leave the Orioles? Well, I think the days of Tampa finishing in last may be coming to an end, sooner rather than later.

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