[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] Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes the Pirates are involved in trade talks with the Rays for Iwamura.

[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]



  1. KillaTapes says:

    I asked this a week or so ago, but what about Doumit? Too much, too little?

  2. rayhawk says:

    Can Navi keep his pants?

  3. stunna says:

    Don't know who this Chavez guy is, but one of my best friends is a die-hard Pirates fan, and he just laughed at me when I told him about the trade

  4. Dirtbag Fan says:

    That's about what we expected in the trade.. a servicable bullpen arm in exchange for salary relief...

    that'll do.

  5. cg says:

    Young, decent, and locked up until 2014? OK.

  6. Gus, a casual fan says:

    Aki was one of the best signings in team history; a true pro, but with a team as $ tight as we are, I even viewed the $500k option decline price as an issue, so this was good business.

    An arm under 30 for the bullpen is a constructive and novel approach. Hopefully Andy has learned something there.

    Still waiting for the Carl Crawford option to be picked up. (When are season ticket renewal desposits due? Just ask the Bucs how that works).

  7. Tone says:

    I have no interest in this team now, they have destroyed the 2008 magic for good. Aki was my favorite player. They will get no more money from me. Good luck Rays, you will need it. (Maddon, Burrell, and Owners<Dogshit.)

    • KillaTapes says:

      Aki was my among my favorite players too, but where would you put him? Zobrist gives us solid defense and better offensive numbers even with some regression, and costs a heck of a lot less. This also opens up a platoon in right for Joyce and at 2nd with Sean Rodriguez, who both profile to be solid, major league ready players.

      Not to mention the salary it frees up for the F.O. to try to fill some of the other weak spots. I'm hoping there are some solid moves to follow, and this seems to me like a step in that direction (As well as trading Kazmir).

      As much as I hate to see Aki go, this just makes too much sense on all levels.

      • Dirtbag Fan says:

        Mr Tapes,
        I agree mostly. With the exception that I am really, really not a fan of platooning players.

        You can't look at these moves strictly from a young fan's perspective, you need to realize that the Rays (like all sports franchises) are a business venture. Ownership is trying to stretch their limited resources as far as possible, and paying $4+ million for Aki just simply wasn't possible if they wanted to retain CC, Zobrist, Aybar, Pena... etc. Look big picture instead of instant gratification. You'll see things much more clearly.

        • KillaTapes says:

          Well, yes, I see what you mean. But I think Benzo has proven that he excels no matter where you put him. I think if he splits his time between RF and 2B he will be as good as ever. S-Rod seems to be a solid utility guy that can play a solid 2B when Zo's in the outfield and can also fill in at other positions, including outfield. As for Joyce, I'm hoping he can work his way into being an everyday player.

    • Beth says:

      So, Tone, as you've given up, does that mean we won't be hearing from you any more?

    • TD says:

      Funny you would equate ownership with dogshit. That was the same impression I got of your post.

  8. Gus, a casual fan says:

    Following up on my supposition that Burrell and Gross were not good in the clubhouse from last week (which several of you questioned), there's this from Henderson's column today:

    "Plus, Iwamura is just a good guy, period.

    Always smiling.

    Always upbeat.

    Always good in the clubhouse.

    If you think that's not a factor, then you weren't around Pat Burrell much this summer. Remember how nonchalant the Rays were most of last summer? How they never had a sense of urgency even when they lost games they should have won? It's worth asking whether the Rays would have been quite so blasé during June, July and most of August if Iwamura had been healthy."

    • cubfanraysaddict says:

      I'm sure he inspired our players through his translator nightly, Aki was the most nonchalant of the bunch (probably tied with BJ/Longo).

    • Beth says:

      I'm sure Aki's a great guy. But just "good in the clubhouse" can you be if you are speaking through an interpreter?

      As I've said before, I think "good in the clubhouse" is overrated. Sure, there are personalities that are so unpleasant that they can be divisive. But beyond that, when a guy produces on the field, his teammates find a way to like him. And fun guys who strike out a lot lose their allure sometime around the all-star break.

      • Gus, a casual fan says:

        I'm not sure what Henderson was saying as to Aki -- I guess he could be good in the clubhouse by (a) showing up not hungover and with a professional work ethic, (b) an extensive DVD collection for the fellas and (c) paying for stuff with his (realtively) fat contract $ for all the players who are club controlled. Who knows? And his defense in the month before the injury was very aggravating. I was just noting that we are seeing the first reports of who was bad in the locker room. I think this is the first indictment of PB as a cancer.

  9. Tone says:

    Did we have double plays turned? No. Ben should be the right fielder, 2nd base was not his best position. Sean is an unknown. Letting Aki go would be fine if they showed the respect and let him go where he wanted to. 550K is a small price to show the respect he clearly deserved. They dropped him from leadoff to put Upton there and that was shitty and it worked out well for the Yanks/Sox. They are not making good moves and are killing whatever chemistry was left from 2008. See how they played after trading Kaz the way they did? Trading him is good but why do it right before you play the biggest series of the season? They are dirty assfuck wallstreet shitheads. I live and work with these types assholes everyday in NYC. They are inhuman skum that care only for the bottom line. Look at the economy, this mindset is destructive and devoid of soul. I'm moving to Japan anyway, fuck U.S. baseball.

    • Beth says:

      Tone, you keep saying you've given up on the Rays...and then you are back with more profanity-laced vitriol! If you are giving up, then give up!

  10. Sublime says:

    Beth leave Tone alone!

    He's giving us the passion the Rays Lacked Last Year!

    Speak on Tone

  11. Beth says:

    Sublime, calling the owners "inhuman skum" and "dirty assfuck wallstreet shitheads" gives you a sense of passion for baseball?

    I guess it takes all kinds.


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