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Rays deal reliever Badenhop for OF prospect

ST. PETERSBURG — Reliever Burke Badenhop anxiously waited out Friday's midnight non-tender deadline, relieved the Rays offered him a contract for next season.

Then he got up Saturday and found out he was traded to Milwaukee for a minor-leaguer.

"I was definitely surprised, especially right after the tender date," Badenhop said via text message. "I was pleased to wake up this morning as a Ray, but that didn't last long."

The Rays saved his projected $1.6 million salary (up from $1.075 million), but also must have felt they could upgrade his middle relief spot. In a career-high 66 appearances, Badenhop was 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA after being acquired from the Marlins in a similar deal last year.

"I couldn't have been more appreciative to have spent time with Tampa Bay," Badenhop said. "It's tough to leave but I'm happy to land with a great team like Milwaukee. Spending a year with (manager) Joe Maddon, (pitching coach) Jim Hickey and (executive vice president) Andrew Friedman was a great experience."

In return, the Rays got outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr., a 20-year-old who played at rookie-level Helena last year, hitting .231 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 68 games. He is the son of the former NL All-Star.

The Rays have Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta and Jake McGee back in their bullpen, plus Wade Davis if he is not traded or moved back to the rotation. Other internal candidates are Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke and whichever other starters don't make the rotation.

The Rays let outfielder Ben Francisco become a free agent at the deadline but hung on to infielder Ryan Roberts, who projects to make around $3 million. Roberts would look to be the starting second baseman, though the Rays are going to remain open to other options and could use him at a number of positions.

Around the majors

CUBS ADD JAPANESE PITCHER: Right-handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa agreed to a two-year deal with Chicago that has a vesting option for a third year and includes a guaranteed $9.5 million, FOX Sports reported. Fujikawa, 32, is expected to be the Cubs' closer.

D'BACKS, HUFF TALK: The Diamondbacks have contacted former Ray Aubrey Huff, 35, and may look at him as a backup corner infielder.

GIANTS CLOSER ON MARKET: The Giants elected to non-tender Brian Wilson on Friday, meaning the former All-Star closer is now a free agent. A key figure during the club's run to the 2010 World Series title, Wilson made two appearances this season before having reconstructive elbow surgery for a second time.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin be reached at topkin@tampabay.com

Rays deal reliever Badenhop for OF prospect 12/01/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 8:37pm]

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