USATSI_8575378_154511044_lowresOn their off-day, the Tampa Bay Rays traded for first baseman/outfielder Marc Krauss from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim near Disneyland. The Angels received minor league pitcher Kyle Winkler. To make room on the big league roster, Nick Franklin was optioned back to triple-A Durham.

Who?

Krauss is a left-handed hitting outfielder who has also seen time at first base while in the majors.

Krauss was a second-round pick in 2009 but has been cut by two teams in the last seven months. He was originally put on waivers by the Astros in December when he was claimed by the Angels. Then, after just 11 games with the Angels in May, he was designated again and outrighted back to the minors.

Winkler is a right-handed reliever who was originally a 10th-round pick in 2011 for the Diamondbacks. After three ho-hum seasons he was released by Arizona and signed by the Rays this past off-season as a free agent.

What?

In 130 games in parts of three seasons Krauss has hit .194 with a .268 OBP (.271 wOBA), 11 home runs, and a .603 OPS. In the minors he has shown signs of power, but even that comes with a red flag. His one great power season, 25 home runs in 2010, came in the high-A California League which is filled with hitters parks.

If you are looking for one thing to like, it is that he has shown a knack for getting on base in the minors even if that hasn’t translated to the majors yet. In seven minor league seasons, Krauss has posted an OBP of at least .370 in six of those seasons. He has also developed better command of the strikezone in recent seasons, with 110 walks and 133 strikeouts in his last 167 minor league games.

Winkler was not a big prospect but had pitched well in ten games split between double-A and triple-A, posting a 1.46 ERA and striking out 15 in 12.1 innings with just one walk.

Why?

The Rays needed a first baseman with James Loney on the DL. As much as Jon Heyman would have loved for the Rays to give up some top prospects and millions of dollars for Ryan Howard, that was never happening.

And let’s face it, Jake Elmore is a nice player, but he is not a big league first baseman and he has been the starter in 12 of the last 13 games.

In Krauss, the Rays get a guy with first base experience who hopefully will find the patience at the plate he has displayed in the minors but seems to lose in the majors.

The price was almost nil. Winkler has been nice and maybe at some point in the season he could have been used for a week or two while somebody else was resting or on the DL. But the Rays basically gave up a pitcher nobody wanted for a hitter nobody wanted.

Finally, Franklin needs to be back in the minors. In 28 games (17 starts) he has 10 hits and 6 walks. That’s not good enough.

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8 Comments

  1. Starmand says:

    If one of the measures of a good hitter is staying balanced through a swing, N. Franklin is a fan of the soft-shelled burritos. That's fixable.

    If one of the measures of a good fielder is staying focused, N. Franklin is a fan of tacos. That's fixable.

    As to the chimichanga part...

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  2. angrybuddha says:

    There was an open spot on the 40-man. I thought management was saving it for Matt Moore. Now they're going to have to make a move next week to squeeze him in.

    * Does this move for a 1B make it more likely that Loney's going to the 60-day DL? He hasn't played in a month... we've been papering over the hole at 1st during that time & we've been winning. If he was on the verge of return, why make this move? If not, maybe his is the 40-man spot Moore could take.

    * How about Jennings. He hasn't played in 2 months... is he destined for the 60-day?

    * I don't see any obvious candidates to DFA & squeeze through waivers: Bellati? Riefenhauser? Guilmet?

    -angrybuddha

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    • Ken says:

      The incredible number of injuries the Rays have incurred has taken it's toll on roster maneuverability. They may have finally hit the wall. To this point the work of the FO and Cash has been remarkable. But...hard, very hard decisions loom. Jennings must go to the 60 man, his spot is too valuable and I doubt he'd offer more than what we have. Loney is a worrisome case, I'm thinking the Rays truly believe that Krauss is an All Star break sub giving Rays some breathing room.
      For the Rays to remain relevant the few vets we have must step up. Longo, Cabby, Rivera and DeJesus need to carry us for a few weeks.

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      • angrybuddha says:

        You're right... roster maneuverability has really been tested.

        We got caught up with it when we had to DFA Bobby Wilson a couple weeks ago. Now he's no world beater, but the only option we now have is Curt Casali as the backup catcher, and watching him the other day was painful... he's even lazier than Molina was on balls in the dirt.

        My point is that roster flexibility has already suffered, with Casali in the majors and Wilson in Durham... and just 2 "major league ready" catchers on the 40-man.

        We need to pray that Casali & Rivera stay healthy, because we don't have another option if one of them goes down.

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  3. Andy says:

    They should resign Jorge Cantu. He is batting .344 for Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League. Why not?

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  4. Juggy says:

    CANTU! CANTU! CANTU!

    Im still using a Jorge Cantu model Nokona glove in games....probably the best mitt ever. Would love to see him join the comeback parade!

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