Rays deal Delmon to Twins

28

November

The Rays completed a six-player deal late Wednesday to send AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Delmon Young to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for RHP Matt Garza, SS Jason Bartlett and a minor-leaguer.

The Rays also gave up INF Brendan Harris and minor-league OF Jason Pridie.

The Rays get Garza, who will go right into their rotation, and Bartlett, who becomes their starting shortstop. They also get minor-league RHP Eduardo Morlan, a 21-year-old who was 5-3 with 18 saves and a 3.10 ERA with Class A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain. He struck out 99 in 69 2/3 innings.

"It's a business decision, and it helps out both teams,'' Young said. "We had too many outfielders and one of them had to go.''

Young said he was "excited" to to join the Twins and would "go over there and help out their club with 100 percent effort.''

He said he was not surprised the Rays would trade him because "you always know if there's an offer they can't resist they're going to pull the trigger.''

The Rays were in serious discussions throughout the day and earlier seemed poised to get veteran reliever Juan Rincon, but concerns surfaced about his elbow, and Morlan was substituted in the deal.

"I haven't heard anything," Young said when reached on his cell phone mid-evening Wednesday. "Just gimme a call when something gets done or not done."

The key pieces to the deal is Bartlett, who would step into the team's starting shortstop role, and Garza, a talented 24-year-old right hander who likely would become the Rays' No. 3 starter.

The Rays are also close to working out a deal to sign veteran free-agent reliever Troy Percival, who pitched under Rays manager Joe Maddon with the Angels. Percival pitched to a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings with the Cardinals last season after coming back from arm problems that led him to a brief retirement.

"Percy has huge admiration for Joe Maddon and he's instructed me to kind of really roll up my sleeves and get something done within the next couple days," Percival's agent, Paul Cohen, said Wednesday.

Reports of the potential deal surfaced around mid-afternoon and Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman left Wednesday afternoon's stadium rendering unveiling abruptly, with his BlackBerry attached to his ear after telling the Rays PR staff he wasn't available for comment.

The Rays would lose a key piece out of their prized outfield. The 22-year-old Young hit .288 with 13 homers and 93 RBIs and made 16 outfield assists.

Garza was 5-7 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 appearances last season. Bartlett is a career .271 hitter, a base-stealing threat and owns a .967 career fielding percentage, but he is coming off a season in which he made a career-high 26 errors.

Harris, who hit .286 with 12 homers and 59 RBIs, opened his first full major season as the Rays starting shortstop, but was moved to second later in the season when questions about his range and durability arose.

"My phone's been blowing up all day," Harris said when reached on cell phone. "I haven't heard anything from Tampa directly, so I'm just waiting. I'm really surprised though."

Pridie, who was just added to the team's 40-man roster last week, was selected by the Twins in last season's Rule 5 Draft and returned to the Rays before the season. he had 14 homers and 26 stolen bases between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

In other Rays news, the team traded right-handed reliever Brian Stokes to the Mets for cash considerations. Stokes, who was 2-7 with a 7.07 ERA, was taken off the 40-man roster last week and designated for assignment.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:33am]

    

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