Our soon to be new friend Marc Lancaster is reporting the Rays have traded for INF Brendan Harris from the Reds, and will send a player to be named later to Cincy.
Harris was of course part of the Nomar to the Cubs deal so long ago, and Baseball Prospectus 2002 actually said he'd become 'Albert Pujols like'...whoops.Whether this deal is a precursor for a possible B.J. Upton / Jorge Cantu deal is left to be seen but if nothing else he's more servicable than Tomas Perez.Welcome to St. Pete Mr. Harris, the newest D-Ray.
Harris is only 26, bats and throws right-handed and used to be a top Cub farm bat. He's not going to hit 20 homeruns or steal a lot of bases, however he does know how to hit lefties and get on base and can draw some very impressive OBP numbers if given the chance. His MLB career BA is .209 but his OBP is somehow .275, in the minors he posted a .295 BA and a .363 OBP.
His defensive stats are decent, and he's versatile: playing 2B (+44 runs over 150 games), 3B (-6), and SS (-80)and figures to fit into the same role as Tomas Perez did. So what are the positives? The Rays made a move, non-minor leaguer, has some upside, and it isn't some 'bum'...of course most of the fans are still going to whine since the expected a messiah and are just getting 'Sloth' as Jake calls Harris.
Baseball America had him ranked 18th in the Nationals' system this past season, and provided details on how he's more of a defensive 2B who does nothing 'great', but a lot of things well, also how Omar Minaya chose him over Matt Murton back in the Nomar trade, and how he was projected to be the Cubs future 3B before Aramis Ramirez emerged. BA went on to mention that Harris is still capable of becoming a future second baseman.
This deal screams that a follow-up trade could possibly come within the next few days, B.J. Upton has been absent from line-up projections from Joe Maddon and the Rays' MLB.com beat writer, Bill Chastain, though it's not figured that Harris would be the one to replace Upton, Cantu, or anyone else for that matter in a starting capacity.