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Rays get relief help in Bradford




[Associated Press photo]

The Rays acquired veteran reliever Chad Bradford from Baltimore today for a minor-league player to be named later.

Bradford, a 33-year-old right-hander, adds a new dimension to the Rays bullpen - he is a submarine style thrower who gets a tremendous amount of ground balls, with a major-league reliever high ground ball to fly ball ratio of 4.98, and is very tough on right-handed hitters (allowing a .265 average this season, .241 for his career).

Overall, Bradford is 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 47 appearances. He could join the Rays on Friday in Seattle, but Saturday seems more likely. When he does, they will have to make room, though the status of the bullpen, which has been used heavily lately, will factor into their decision. Al Reyes, who continues to be inconsistent, could be a candidate for action.

"He gives us a very different look from what we currently have,'' Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "He's an extreme ground ball pitcher who should enjoy success pitching in front of our infield defense. We're excited to add him to the mix and feel like he'll strengthen a strength we already have, which is our bullpen.''

Bradford is an 11-year veteran with a career record of 34-28 with 11 saves and a 3.31 ERA, pitching for the White Sox, A's, Red Sox, Mets and Orioles. Bradford, who was available because he got through waivers, is signed through the 2009 season, making $3.5-million this season and next. He also gets $500,000 from the Rays for being traded.

Bradford was home in Mississippi on the Orioles off-day, so will have to travel back to Baltimore to collect his belongings, then head to Seattle.

And, for what it's worth, he has been in the playoffs six times, and has not allowed a run in 17 postseason appearances (15 1/3 innings, 12 hits). No active reliever has thrown that many postseason innings without allowing a run.

Also, a decision on activating OF Rocco Baldelli is related to when SS Jason Bartlett (bruised right index finger) can return to the field, so the Rays may wait until pregame workouts today to know. If Bartlett is ready, they could make room by either sending Ben Zobrist back to Triple-A or putting Willy Aybar on the DL depending on the severity of his recent hamstring issues.

And there are some reports that the Red Sox claimed OF Brian Giles from the Padres to keep him from going to the Rays.

Finally - for now - Triple-A Durham SS Reid Brignac is headed to the disabled list with a possibly fractured left wrist after being hit by a pitch on Wednesday. Ronnie Merrill was called up from Double-A Montgomery to Durham.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:37am]


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