Rays Family Tree: The Dead Trade String of 2002

 

2000 Trade: Tony Graffanino for Tanyon Sturtze (Granted Free Agency 2002)

Pre-Trade:

Tony Graffanino  was signed as a free agent by the Rays prior to the 1999 season. Originally a 10th round pick of the Braves in 1990, the 28-year-old utility man started 17 games a piece at both second base and shortstop for the Rays in 1999 where he posted a line of .313/.364/.473 in 164 plate appearances.

Tanyon Sturtze  was initially chosen in the 23rd round of the 1990 draft by Oakland. The White Sox signed the right-handed pitcher following the 1998 season where he spent all but one game in AAA. Pitching for Charlotte, Sturtze went 9-4 with a 4.05 ERA while striking out 107 and walking 41 in 104.1 innings.

Post-Trade:

Tanyon Sturtze was in the rotation for a little over two years for the Rays, making 65 starts with an ERA of 4.58, a FIP that floated in the 4.70-4.90 range, and a K.9 in the 5-5.5 range. He had a disastrous 2002 season where he earned the nickname "Ten Run Sturtze" when  he led the majors in losses (18), hits allowed, earned runs allowed, and walks allowed.  Sturtze was granted free agency following the 2002 season. Somehow, he's still floating around, having spent most of the past few years in the minor,s most recently with the Dodgers. In 2008, after being designated for assignment, he pleaded to stay with the big league club and was rewarded with a stint as a bullpen catcher through the playoffs. He was released in May of 2009 with a career FIP of 5.03.

Tony Graffanino continued his utlityman ways with the White Sox until he was granted free agency after the 2003 season. During his time in Chicago he posted a line of .271/.344/.411. Graffanino has played for seven teams including Cleveland in 2009 where he somehow OPSed .341 in 24 plate appearances, and would spend most of the year in AAA. Most notably he was traded by Kansas City to Milwaukee for Jorge De La Rosa at the 2006 all-star break. Sadly for the Royals, they moved De La Rosa to the Rockies as part of a conditional deal just prior to his breakout last season.

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