01 December 2007

Not the Same Old D-Rays

If, when you saw that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had traded rising star Delmon Young and quality shortstop Brendan Harris to the Minnesota Twins for a bunch of prospects who might or might not pan out, you heaved a sigh of disgust and said 'same old D-Rays', suck it back in and take another look.

First off, they're not the Devil Rays, or D-Rays, or whatever anymore - now they're just the Rays. While I think that's a truly abhorrent aesthetic choice - the Tampa Bay Rays? Really? They rhyme? - it might just be a sign of a break from the past.

Delmon Young was a rising star, yes, and we'll miss him in a couple of years when he's hitting .310 with 25 HR and 20 SB. But we didn't exactly get a stiff in return. Garza is a pretty quality pitcher - he had a 3.69 ERA last year in 16 starts, which is better than anyone else on the Rays' rotation but Kazmir (and two runs better than anyone but Kazmir and Shields, which is a frightening indictment of the Sonnastine/Howell/Jackson combination), and he should be the Rays' #3 starter right out of the gate.

The Rays should be okay in the outfield; they have Crawford and Upton manning two spots, with Baldelli (when he's healthy) and Gomes holding the other spot down until one of their prospects (presumably Dukes) gets up to the show.

Is this the same sort of move we're used to seeing from the Rays? Not really - this one actually has a chance to have some positive benefits. If they don't lose Carlos Pena to arbitration (heaven forbid - their one legitimate power bat), they could show some improvement next season. For once.

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