According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sportline, a baseball official says the Rays talked to the Twins about reacquiring Delmon Young.

…the Rays have also discussed trying to reacquire Delmon Young, the outfielder who they traded to the Twins last winter to get Bartlett and Matt Garza…It doesn’t appear that the Young talks got very far, and neither did Tampa Bay’s efforts to acquire Denard Span, another Twins outfielder.

It makes sense that the Rays would inquire about Young, as the Twins have an abundance of outfielders and have been rumored to be willing to move Young. However, a deal with the Rays seems unlikely as it would be an indictment of Twins’ general manager Bill Smith. Trading Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett for Young was Smith’s first major move as GM.

Knobler also notes that the Rays may be willing to include Bartlett in a deal this winter. This does not come as a surprise as Bartlett is arbitration-eligible for the first time and is in line for a large bump in salary. With Reid Brignac waiting in the wings, the Rays have a player who was voted the top defensive shortstop in the International League in 2008 and offers a higher upside than Bartlett with the bat at a much lower cost.

And if Brignac is not ready to handle an everyday job in the big leagues, the Rays could conceivably move rookie of the year Evan Longoria to shortstop and start Willy Aybar at third base. This last scenario offers the Rays a vast improvement offensively with only a slight downgrade defensively.

[CBS Sportsline]

 
 

12 Comments

  1. Clayton says:

    Zobrist can also play SS every day until Brignac is ready, no? Although I prefer your Aybar/Longoria solution if we have a good DH, as it would be a good way to get Aybar’s bat into the lineup.

    Denard Span would be good if we could get him. Can’t imagine that the Twins want to deal with us, though, since it’s looking like they got fleeced last time out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    agreed. Zobrist would def be the everyday shortstop if Bartlett is traded. Shortstop is his natural position and he’s a better shortstop defensively than longoria or anyone else and isnt a slouch with the bat. It would be nice to see Brignac earn the opening day nod though.

    - bossmanjunior333

  3. Surveyman82 says:

    Now Bartlet is too expensive???

    Pay the man forward for the defense he provided last year. He’s deserves a raise, but its not like he will get Furcal or O. Cabrara money. And if it comes down to more more positional unbalance withing our organization as a reason we need to ditch Bartlett for a more skilled Brignac, then shame on you Rays!!. And Shame on you for Drafting Beckham.
    As much as this new front office needs to be praised for the turn around, they need to be jeered for the poor personal management. From having too many outfielders in 06-07, to now looking to trade for one; goes to show their immaturity. They have a top prospect in Brignac and you trade for Bartlett, then you draft Beckham and don’t trade Brignac for a missing piece before the trade deadline durning a playoff run season(i.e Jason Bay) arrrgh!!
    I can only imagine how the front office is going to mess up the pitching depth in 09. Saving 2 million isn’t as important as having a safety net if our can’t miss prospects fall flat on their faces, or Kazmir and his elbow issue can’t finish the season? Jackson is always targeted as the one to be traded but how many teams are looking to get rid of a 14 game winner, with Cy Young award type stuff because of a lousy 2 million…. Moneyball at its finest.

  4. stunna says:

    I don’t know if I like this at all. Just say NO to Young, we got rid of him for a reason. I love Bartlett and he’s exactly who we need at short. Pay the man what he’s worth and move on. Wait for Brignac to actually get a major league hit before we declare him as a major league SS.

  5. Robert Rittner says:

    1. There is no point in getting exercised over trade rumors. That is all they are, rumors, and often with no basis at all or only the flimsiest relationship to actual possibilities.
    It makes no sense to excoriate an organization on the basis of such non-information. And additionally, even should there be some basis of truth to the rumor that Bartlett has been discussed, no mention is made of expense. The only question is whether he could bring back someone who could help the team win, the same consideration that makes every member of every team a potential trade chip.

    2. Not only was there no shame in drafting Beckham, it was exactly the right thing to do. No team wastes its early picks selecting for need. Perhaps if there is a very close talent level between a hitter and pitcher a team’s needs might (and I say might) sway it slightly one way or the other. Otherwise, teams pick what they consider the best talent at that spot (with consideration I am sure for factors such as signability.

    3. It is equally foolish to talk about surplus or dearth of outfielders. It was the “surplus” of outfielders that allowed the Rays to acquire Garza and Bartlett, and they knew full well that dealing Delmon would leave a thin talent pool in RF. That is why they very intelligently planned for it by signing Hinske, dealing for Haynes and later Gross and so on. In fact, if there is one area that this management team has been outstanding it is in personnel management, in preparing for emergencies and projected needs. Quite a few of their minor league signings did just that and paid off during the season.

    4. There is also little point in speculating about trades not made. Apparently the Rays had Bay before Boston swooped in and outbid them. You have no idea if Brignac was involved or if the Pirates actually made a good decision. In any case, the Rays did just fine without Bay, and their reluctance to rape the farm system for temporary patches is entirely defensible.

    5. The Rays are obviously completely aware of the need to protect their pitching depth, but every decision entails some risks. You are vastly overrating Jackson who has actually not pitched well despite his 14 victories, and for whom there are almost certainly reasonable alternatives right now in the system. Again, the Rays have held on to him because they have not been offered enough to let him go, but there can be no argument against trading him in the right deal. Sure, he might develop into a star; that is the risk. But right now the Rays have other more immediate needs and if trading Jackson fills them it is the right move.

    None of this has anything to do with “Moneyball” which has become a meaningless label for all sorts of nonsensical analysis. It has to do with a team creatively using its resources to build a consistent contender, something the current management team has done very well so far.

  6. Kacey Leigh says:

    I don’t have any extraordinary points to make, but I just wanted to say that I’m a very new Rays fan. I’ve never really been much of a sports gal, but when I got married…I realized I had to become a sports gal.

    I’ve always loved baseball, and I even played softball myself when I was a kid, so attaching myself to a team was pretty easy. I started liking the Rays early on in their season this year, even before they’d won the AL series or anything.

    It got to be a nostaligic thing for me. My husband and I would get home from work, we’d jump in the car and go to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch the Rays as they kept on winning. Of course my husband loved the fact that I was getting into it as much as I was (even though he’s a Cardinals fan), and he nurtured my new found love.

    Now, I don’t know all of the technical stuff yet, and I’m still catching up on ten years of tradition and history, but let me just say, it breaks my heart to see a team change so much in just one off season. The Rays really became a nostalgic thing for me. My memories of watching them win are tied with memories of my husband and I while we were dating, and how we rooted for them (as the underdog of sorts) during the early part of our marriage.

    Moneyball is a great word for what is happening. I admired the Rays at first for their hard work and the selection and integrity Joe Maddon used with his guys. Now, they really are just playing with numbers. I hate to see the team I rooted for all season (and that others have been rooting for for years) fall apart in a three month span. I know changes are necessary, but change for money’s sake is never necessary.

    Keep it together. If for nothing else, for the fans who love the players.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Changes for money reasons are always necessary. With the rising prices of free agent talent, you have to get creative. Its not like they are selling the team and I am willing to bet the Rays will be a better team (on paper) than last year. Whether they can get as lucky again is another thing.

    Remember our GM was exec of the year, he knows what he is doing. Im sure a lot of people thought he was crazy to trade away Delmon Young last year for a shortstop and unproven starting pitcher, but look where it got us. In no way should you think the Rays are being cheap, in fact they are increasing payroll from 43 million to around 60 million. However, with many players set to make more money next year through arbitration and wanting to imrpove the team through free agency, again, you have to get creative and deal from your strength. Right now our strength is starting pitching, shortstop and a deep farm system.

    Just because they are changing the team (slightly), it doesnt mean they arent still getting better or being cheap. When you have a certain amount of money to spend, and you have a cheaper younger player capable of similar production, then sometimes you deal the more expensive player to fill a more pressing hole. Its not personal, just business. Smart business.

  8. Robert Rittner says:

    It is great to see new fans joining the Rays.

    I don’t think the Rays have changed very much at all, at least not yet. But it is an axiom in baseball that no matter how good a team is, it cannot afford to stand pat. To remain competitive, the Rays must continually improve, which means dropping and adding players. And to ignore the reality of finances is to ignore reality itself. Every team, from the Yankees on down, has to budget and work within the parameters of that budget.

    The Rays promised two years ago that they would spend when it made sense to do so, and they have kept that promise. Aside from extending contracts, they have taken on salary. In fact, while hardly equivalent to the sums spent by NY or Boston for even less well-known pieces, trading for Bradford who does not have a team-friendly contract provides evidence of their willingness to do what is necessary to win even if it does not make sense in terms of the player’s absolute value.

    We all develop affections for particular players, but have to accept that there will be turnover. Some is natural-retirements due to age or injury. Some is planned-efforts to upgrade a position or fill a hole, often requiring surrendering a favorite player.

    Some is no doubt driven by money, but it is senseless to criticize that, so long as the money saved is reinvested into the team. If the Rays can get a starting DH or RF for Jackson for example, and he is productive, then it is the right thing to do. It may hurt some feelings, and it may backfire, but it is a properly calculated risk. And if they can save a million dollars in the process which can then be used to add a LOOGY or some other important complementary player, then all the better.

  9. Surveyman82 says:

    Jackson lost out on 2 wins in April because of blown saves by Percy. Countless other times Jackson was strong through 5 and half, but lost out because Maddon pulled him when meaningless runners got on, and the blown pen showed up; runners scored and Jackson didn’t factor in the decision. I’m not the President of the Edwin Jackson fan club but at least keep the guy around if Kaz goes down(which he will ‘quote me’) or if Price doesn’t have as a seamless transition as he had from single A to Montgomery.
    Internet rumors are not always just rumors. Our local papers do such a piss poor job on reporting of Hot stove chatter, it shocks me to think we even have a Major League franchise in town.

    Andrew Freedmen has a budget based on profit margin not based on passion for the game or how much money is truly available. Don’t be fooled by the double speak ;the Rays have the money. Did you see the playoff share numbers that came out the other day?

  10. Robert Rittner says:

    Sorry, but you are wrong about Edwin. Jackson’s peripherals all indicate he was barely average. Using wins to evaluate a pitcher is like using RBIs to evaluate hitters. Nobody doubts his potential, but there is plenty of reason to doubt he will reach it, and it makes perfect sense to deal him at possibly his peak value if the return is worthwhile. There is no reason to think that Niemann, Talbot and certainly Price will not more than adequately match his production. Is it a risk? Of course. All decisions are.

    The issue is not keeping Jackson around but finding a use for him. If he is simply around as a middle reliever waiting to fill in for a starter, he is wasting roster space.

    Your view of the local media and hot stove stuff is also mistaken. The Rays are notoriously closed mouthed about their plans, and the local media is not irresponsible enough to simply parrot internet idiocy. Aside from the fact that you interpreted that particular rumor about Barlett incorrectly (it says nothing about the Rays seeking to deal him and nothing about money), there is no source, no follow-up, no comment from any responsible person, nothing but speculation and an unnamed official who may or may not have said anything. Nor is there any context. There might have been an off-hand remark; there may have been speculation by a non-Rays official; there may have been something mis-heard in a lobby somewhere. Or more likely than anything, there may have been nothing. Sure, internet rumors sometimes have substance, but hardly often enough for anyone to take them seriously, especially one as ephemeral as this one. Listening to internet rumors and getting worked up is Chicken Little silly.

    As for the money issue, that is the stuff of cliched barroom chatter. Of course the Rays are seeking profit; there is no franchise that isn’t. And of course the Rays will always claim poverty; just about every franchise does. None of that is relevant to the issue of passion or the desire to win. Every single act since Sternberg took over has been clearly calculated to build a winner, and this year it happened. Naturally winning also adds to profit. There is no contradiction there. Claiming there is no passion in Friedman for winning cannot bear even superficial scrutiny.

  11. Anonymous says:

    While I love Jackson and his “potential,” just like Ritter said, his peripherals aims toward fluke. The best example of this is his tRA, which quantatativelky evaluates a pitchers peformace on factors that his has control over, such as walks, home runs, strike outs, hit batters, line drive percentage, fly ball/ground ball/pop up percentage, and so on. He simply walks too many, doesnt strike out enough, and allows too many hits to be consistently successful.

    - bossmanjunior333

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