Yunel EscobarHere is an interesting twist to the Ben Zobrist-Yunel Escobar trade with the Oakland A’s.

Escobar has now been traded to the Washington Nationals for Tyler Clippard. That is mildly interesting since Escobar will be replacing Asdrubal Cabrera, who signed with the Rays, meaning Escobar will play second base.

But what is really interesting is this nugget from Susan Slusser:

In other words, the Rays only made the trade with A’s if they were also willing to take Escobar. Basically, the Rays were desperate to dump Escobar and they used Zobrist to make it happen.

The A’s had no interest in Escobar but took him anyway and then parlayed him into a pitcher.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • According to Jon Morosi, the relocation of the Rays to Montreal is “not being seriously considered” at the owners meetings. Does that mean it is being considered, but just not seriously? Or are they joking about it like the rest of us? I am confused. [@jonmorosi]
  • Matt Moore has been throwing for a while now. He is expected to throw off a mound for the first time since Tommy John surgery in the next week or two. [FoxSports.com]
  • Here is a rundown of the Yankees off-season spending. It sure sounds like they are cost-cutting. [NYPost.com]
  • Here is a look at the futuristic stadium being built for the Atlanta Falcons. What is interesting from a Rays’ point of view is the last image of the stadium as it would be used for soccer. Instead of tarps over the upper deck, there are panels that come down to hide the upper deck. So much better. [BI Sports]
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14 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    I thought the bullpen was Washingtons achilles heel? Why would they give up their highest leveraged reliever for Escobar? He was like their Peralta except only 29 and not in decline at all. He's logged more innings than anyone they got

    Its funny how one teams assumed problem is another teams solution.
    Possibly The most important one for the Rays in 2015is if you sort of assume Myers was traded for Souza (oversimplication I know)

    I have read plenty of accounts that the Nats think they sold high and basically have the same opinion of Souza as most of us do of Myers. They even questioned his defense.

    So the Nats are hoping to get ROY 2013 Myers and the Rays are hoping to get tore up all levels of MiLB and 1 specatular Fuldian catch of the year Souza.

    Should be interesting

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Now that is shrewd management. The Rays, as per usual, created another example of addition by subtraction... "how do we leverage Zobrist to dump Escobar's salary? We make Escobar a required part of a Zobrist trade."

    May be why the Giants deal never panned out.

    Equally shrewd on the part of Oakland for knowing they could then flip him for a need.. the chess game that is played by GM's is fascinating.
    Sometimes fascinating like watching an eclipse, sometimes more like watching a car crash... either way, still fascinating.

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    • Gus says:

      Andrew Friedman's final screw up -- Oakland claimed Escobar in August and the Rays pulled him back instead of letting him go and ridding themselves of his awful contract (his trades spares of idiot Rays fans trying to proclaim him a positive player when he was the worst SS in the league last year defensively, and had no offense and was getting fatter by the month).

      So the Rays got less in return from the A's for Zobrist because of the Escobar contract. Great management, Andy!

      I have to say I agree with virtually everything Silverman has done this off-season. I can't see Friedman ever admitting he'd been so wrong on so many deals. This team will be better than the 2014 team by a wide margin.

      Lavarnaway was released (again) by the O's in his ridiculous off-season -- he'd be an upgrade at backup catcher and could play some 1B against lefties. He's an Ivy Leaguer. Fits the Rays profile. Please sign that big hoss.

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      • Skateman says:

        Great thing about new management is that they don't have any emotional attachment to (bad) prior decisions. I like everything Silverman's done so far, too. The only exception is that I think they could have gotten Souza from the Nats for less than both Turner and Ross.

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    • FortMyersDave says:

      You nailed that one Mr Smith; the A's shipped of Escobar for a real decent set up guy, Tyler Clippard from the Nats. I think the Nats would have rather had Zorilla but the Mets refused to let the Rays have any decent prospects in the attempted 3 way deal between Tampa, the Nats and Mets.

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  3. Dave L says:

    Yeah sorry Padres. You got me.

    As i said it was an oversimplification of the trade after all it involved 10+ players and 3+ teams

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  4. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Cork,
    Great piece on the Atlanta stadium over on BI. That stadium is great! I, too, LOVE the drop down tarps/panels.
    And the simplicity of the retractable roof despite it's complex visual effect is architecturally spectacular!

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      I love that one of the commenters on that article has already dubbed it "The Stainless Anus".

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  5. mep645 says:

    So Escobar was a BOGO. Like getting a second pair of shoes at a discounted rate. Rays didn't need him for another year.

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  6. Dave L says:

    The Nats situation as its played out so far effectively says that they thought so low Asdrubal as to not resign him but instead to actually give up arguably thier best reliever workhorse 8th inning guy for Yunel Escobar?

    Really?

    Escobar who costs about the same this year as Cabrera does to us was that much of an upgrade? I read the Nats attribute Escobars bad defensive and slightly worse offensive year to nagging injuries that he will recover from.

    Rays fans were mostly cock sure they stole Balfour last winter and we were wrong.

    Cabrera should have some power but anyone expecting 20-25 homers is in for a disappointment. If he just duplicates the last two years offensively I will be happy. All accounts have him as a boderline MLB SS at this stage defensively.

    Washington has made some pretty smart moves over the last few years..

    Makes me think what do they know about Asdrubal that we don't that makes them prefer Yunel so strongly?

    Time will tell with Cabrera but it definitly is food for thought.

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    • Ted Sheckler says:

      I feel better about the Cabrera signing because Cash was with him the last two years in Cleveland. There's no way the Rays would sign him if Cash didn't like him. Cabrera was only with the Nats for a couple of months. They wouldn't know anything about him that Cash doesn't. It's more likely that the Rays know something about Escobar that the Nats don't.

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  7. Michael says:

    So if the A's were able to get Clippard for Escobar straight-up from the Nats, why didn't we do Escobar-for-Clippard instead of forcing Escobar on the A's as a perceived negative value which implies a lesser return?

    Something doesn't add up here. Either that or the A's really made out.

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    • Nathan says:

      I think it's because Clippard makes $5.5M and only has 2015 left on his contract. The Rays would rather include him in the deal to Oakland to obtain the prospects plus Jaso. Zobrist was probably only going to net 2 of the 3 we got. Clippard is a win NOW guy and clearly the Rays aren't going all in on 2015.

      By the way, I think the Rays will be better than last year. This looks like one of those teams where EVERYONE will contribute something to wins.

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