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Tampa Bay Rays receive three pitchers, infielder from San Diego Padres for shortstop Jason Bartlett

ST. PETERSBURG — When the Rays on Friday finally completed the long-discussed trade of shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres in what evolved into a six-player deal, this is what they ended up with:

• One new member of their rebuilt bullpen, hard-throwing 6-foot-8 right-hander Adam Russell, and lefty Cesar Ramos, who will compete in spring training for a spot. They also got two prospects: reliever Brandon Gomes, who could pitch his way to the majors in 2011, and infielder Cole Figueroa.

• A different look at shortstop, with Reid Brignac the primary starter and Elliot Johnson, after a solid Triple-A performance, in line for playing time.

• Some money to spend, or at least reallocate, under their reduced payroll. They shed Bartlett's $5 million-plus salary and are seeking another one or two relievers, including a closer, and a couple of hitters.

• And mixed feelings about trading Bartlett, one of the key players in their 2008-10 run of success, in a move driven by economics.

"There's disappointment on one hand, and the excitement to give those guys the opportunity and address some areas of weakness for us," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "It gets back to how difficult it is for us to maintain depth with the resources we have, and how we need to take some of that and address other areas when we're fortunate enough to have that."

The trade was first reported to be in place Dec. 8, with the Rays getting back only Russell and Ramos, followed by speculation that the holdup was due to the physical condition of one of the pitchers. But officials from both sides said Friday more players were involved from the start and several "issues" and "concerns" had to be worked through.

"Usually those things happen behind the scenes, and unfortunately it got leaked prematurely, so it was an awkward period," Friedman said.

The Rays will also give up a minor-leaguer to be determined during spring training; they got back four players that project well.

The immediate key is Russell, who has the potential to play a late-inning role based on his success in limited opportunities over parts of three big-league seasons.

"He's got a physically imposing presence on the mound and I think a good future in the bullpen," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said.

Ramos will compete with Rule 5 draft pick Cesar Cabral and likely others to be the left-handed specialist, but he could evolve into a full-inning middle reliever.

Brignac played 50 games at shortstop in 2010 and said he is confident and "superexcited" about the chance to take over. He agreed with Friedman that the key to his success will be adjustments and improvements at the plate.

Bartlett, who began his career in the Padres organization, was relieved with the resolution. "It's a business, and I'm just part of the business," he said.

Also, the Rays made official the signing of reliever Joel Peralta, who got a one-year deal for $925,000.

More Padres: The team completed a revamping of its double-play combo, agreeing to an $11.5 million, two-year contract with second baseman Orlando Hudson, the Associated Press reported.

Diamondbacks: Outfielder Xavier Nady and catcher Henry Blanco agreed to one-year contracts. Nady, the front-runner to start in leftfield, gets $1.75 million. Blanco, 39, is guaranteed $1.25 million.

Rangers: Former Rays pitcher Seth McClung, the girls basketball coach at Pinellas Park High, signed a split contract with the team, said. The 6-foot-6 right-hander will be looked at as a starter in spring training.

Royals: Right-hander Zack Greinke is said to be changing agents, another indication he wants to be traded, and reported that the team intends to grant his wish.

Yankees: Left-hander Pedro Feliciano is moving over from the Mets, reaching a preliminary agreement on an $8 million, two-year contract, the Associated Press reported.

Tampa Bay Rays receive three pitchers, infielder from San Diego Padres for shortstop Jason Bartlett 12/17/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:59pm]
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