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Bartlett trade to Padres - finally - official



UPDATE, 7:15: Quick update from Friedman's conference call: Russell will be in the bullpen, Ramos will have a chance to compete for a job, Gomes could work his way up during the season. ... The player to be named will be a minor-leaguer and will be worked out by opening day ... Brignac will go into spring training as the starting shortstop, and Elliot Johnson will compete for playing time as well. .... The expectation is that Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist at this point will share time at second. ... Bartlett was relieved the deal finally got done, and said "I totally understand wha they're doing ... there's no hard feelings ... it's a business and I'm just part of the business.''

DEVELOPING: The Rays on Friday finally finalized the trade to send SS Jason Bartlett to Padres, though in a different form.

The Rays are giving up Bartlett and a player to be named, and getting four back - the two relievers previously reported, RHP Adam Russell and LHP Cesar Ramos, plus RHP Brandon Gomes and INF Cole Figueroa.

The Rays are holding a 6:45 conference call to discuss the deal.

Russell and Ramos immediately become candidates to land spots in the Rays' free-agent depleted bullpen with Russell, a big, hard-thrower who approaches 100 mph, more likely to have an immediate impact, potentially in late innings.

Figueroa, 23, is middle infielder who was targeted to be the started second baseman at Double-A for the Padres. He is a Tallahassee native who played at the University of Florida and is the son of former big-leaguer Bien Figueroa. He was a 6th-round pick in the 2008 draft.

Gomes, 26, had an impressive season in relief for Double-A San Antonio, going 7-1, 1.87 in 51 games. He was a 17th-round pick in the 2007 draft. 

The deal was first reported Dec. 8, but then was stalled for undisclosed reasons, creating an awkward and unusual situation, and questions about the health of the pitchers. The reconfigured format was obviously to address those concerns.
By trading Bartlett, who was due to make more than $5-million in 2011 before becoming a free agent, the Rays are expected to turn to Reid Brignac as their everyday shortstop.
Bartlett, 31, has been the primary starter the last three seasons since coming in trade from Minnesota, and played a huge role in the Rays’ 2008 run to the World Series, and was voted team MVP. He had a career best offensive season in 2009, hitting .320 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs, but dropped off considerably in 2010, hitting .254 with four homers and 47 RBIs.
Brignac, 24, spent his first full season in the majors in 2010, hitting .256 with eight homers and 45 RBIs in 113 games, including 50 at shortstop. He played in 68 at second base and three in rightfield.

[Last modified: Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:15am]


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