Trade Bay: Friedman opens up the vault

In what appears to be the biggest winter Blockbuster deal in a long while, the Rays organization showed they were not bluffing when they said anyone on their roster could be available if the trade made sense for them.

The top headliners in this deal is the swap of #1 picks OF Delmon Young for SP Matt Garza.  We always knew this organization had a excess of Outfielders and eventually someone would have to go for some starting pitching, but never in my realization of this did I imagine they would pull the trigger on the player who was considered to be the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.  I guess you could say with Delmon slotted in the lineup playing everyday for a complete season the Rays still ended up in the cellar.  

So, the Rays probably did think of this scenario for a long while. They knew they had to reshape the roster to make this team competitive in the AL East.  The Rays for years have not been able to find anyone to help them out in free agency that would help them significantly upgrade their starting pitching. Also, Rocco Baldelli's value was not going to bring them a pitcher in the quality of Matt Garza. They swapped for a pitcher that similar cost control over the next several seasons, for a player who has gone on the record before saying he would never sign with Rays once he reached free agency.

After thinking about it the past 24 hours, I think this trade will help the Rays more than it will hurt them with the loss of Delmon. With Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and Jake McGee on the not too far horizon, the Rays might be defined by their starting pitching.

Also, checking in from the blogosphere, Twin blogger who defined the term "Free" Johan Santana,  has this to say about the deal from the Twins side:

Smith's first risk is a doozy. Originally the trade had Garza, Bartlett, and Juan Rincon heading to Tampa Bay, but concerns over the status of Rincon's balky elbow caused the Twins to inexplicably substitute Morlan while keeping the remainder of the deal intact. While it'll no doubt be a glossed-over aspect of a blockbuster trade, the difference between Rincon and Morlan is substantial and increases the already strong chance that the deal will be unkind to the Twins over the long haul.
From my old blog Pal Seth Stohs :
Unfortunately, Juan Rincon’s elbow made the Rays shy on him, so he was replaced in the trade by Eduardo Morlan. Instead of feeling really pretty good about the deal, I am now a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. I think getting Young is great, and Harris may be a little underrated. But I also believe that Garza may be a little underrated, and so is Bartlett. So, unless Jason Pridie becomes the Twins starting CF, it’s a little more difficult to be overly excited about the deal anymore. To me, Morlan would have been the Twins next great closer. 21 years old, a strikeout machine, a guy who wanted to close. Disappointing! Not a bad trade, just a little less excitement right now.
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