Lidge to Tampa?

There are some rumors flying around the ESPN radio airwaves that Tampa Bay is talking to the Houston Astros about acquiring former closer Brad Lidge. I haven't been able to confirm that such talks are actually taking place, but given that nothing has went down with Jose Capellan it's possible that one deal is contigent on another and for the Rays it's a waiting game.

Lidge, 30, has had his issues in his two appearances, giving up five hits, three walks, and six runs, though only three were earned, while only striking out one. In 2006 he posted a career worse ERA of 5.29 though he did save 32 games. In the three previous seasons Lidge had been excellent, posting ERAs and save totals of 1 and 3.60, 29 and 1.90, and in 2004 42 and 2.29.

Certainly Lidge would become one of the two top relievers on the team, alongside Al Reyes, whom in the perfect world could slot back into his traditional set-up man role and push Brian Stokes into the 7th inning, forming roles in a somewhat simliar style to that of the Houston teams Lidge played on, pitching the 7th while Octavio Dotel managed the 8th, and Billy Wagner shut things down in the 9th.

It would also likely mean the end for either Shawn Camp or Ruddy Lugo, one would have to believe that Camp would be the one booted, due to his age and that he's allowed all four of his inherited baserunners to score this season while showing little promise of coming back to respectablility.

If the Rays were to acquire Lidge it isn't expected to take too much (perhaps Joel Guzman?) and it would reunite the Californian with former General Manager and Rays advisor Gerry Hunsicker, who was in command when Lidge had his best seasons, and former pitching coach Jim Hickey, whether Hickey could fix Lidge's mechanics or not, along with the five million dollar salary of Lidges' are the chances the new Rays' front office will be taking if they so choose to pull the trigger with Houston for the second time in as many years.

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