[Update] The deal is now official per a press release from the Rays.
[Update] We have just learned from Buster Olney that the Rays will receive relief pitcher Jesse Chavez from the Pirates. Chavez, 26 is a right-handed pitcher, that played his first full big league season in 2009. A 42nd round draft pick in 2002, Chavez posted a 4.01 ERA in 73 appearances (67.1 ip) this past season with 47 Ks and 22 walks.
[Update] Topkin says the Pirates are the team. Still no word on who would come back to the Rays.
[Update] Roger Mooney of the Bradenton Herald says that the deal is expected to be completed tonight [Ed. note: The teams may agree to terms tonight, but trades cannot be finalized with MLB until after the World Series]. He also suggests that Iwamura could be headed to a National League team. It is not clear if the destination is based on Mooney’s insider information or speculation.
[2:34pm] You just knew the Rays would only pick up Akinori Iwamura’s option if they already the framework for a trade in place. With the deadline for the Rays to decide on Aki’s option either Thursday or Friday, Marc Topkin is reporting that the Rays are indeed close to a deal that would move the second baseman.
Just got back to New York and heard from an industry source who’s not with the Rays that they are on the verge of completing a trade of 2B Akinori Iwamura…What’s interesting is that the source indicated the deal wasn’t with the Cubs or the Dodgers as has been speculated on but to an unexpected team.
The Twins took a player off their 40-man roster today. Might that be the connection? With Delmon Young finally producing down the stretch, the Twins may be willing to deal with the Rays again.
Of course, the real question is: How much can the Rays get for a player that everybody knows they didn’t want? If the Rays can come away with a decent prospect and/or a relief pitcher that can contribute in 2010, this will be a great deal.
Rays working on Iwamura deal [The Heater]