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Minor Transactions

Aside from the slew of roster moves concerning the big league squad, the Rays also made some moves concerning the Triple A Durham roster, though none of them were aimed at the bad character reputation that the squad has gotten. Here are little snippets, and my take, on some of these moves.

Jason Romano

The Rays signed the area native to a minor league contract to take the spot of Joey Gathright on the Triple A Durham roster. He will presumably be a backup outfielder to the Durham starters once Elijah Dukes returns from suspension.

Really, this is a move that I and many others could care less about. As a bench player, he won't sniff St. Pete this season, and is just a roster-filler, a career journeyman who has bounced between the Rangers, Rockies, Dodgers, Rays (once before), Reds, and Marlins organizations. He has not played this season since being released in spring training, and has a .766 OPS all-time in the minor leagues.

The interesting thing about this move is that Romano was involved in the out and out dumbest move Chuck LaMar and his scouting staff ever made. And I'm not talking about dumb as in making an ill-advised trade, I'm talking about dumb as in lame-brained. The Rays traded decent prospect Antonio Perez to the Dodgers towards the beginning of the '04 season for Romano, whom the Rays presumed could play the infield because one of their scouts, Syd Thrift, said he could. In actuality, he hadn't played the infield in years, made eight at bats with the major league Rays, and was claimed off of waivers by the Reds organization.

J.P. Howell

No surprise here, as he was sent to the minor leagues after being called up to the Royals to be traded here for technical purposes. He will start in Durham, which is appropriate, and will apparently take Brian Stokes' spot in the rotation, as he pitched in his spot today. He gave up the only run of the ballgame for Durham today, as he went five innings, giving up the earned run on a home run, part of three hits. He did not walk anyone, struck out three, and picked up the loss while throwing 57 pitches.

Sean Burroughs

To make room for the trio that Durham added (McClung was also demoted), Sean Burroughs was one of the three to go (including Gathright) to make room. Honestly, does anyone really care? I mean, if he stays, fine, I don't care. He's just off the 40 man roster. That is good, he can return, and if he actually has some level of productivity (however unlikely it may be), great, good for us. If he is claimed? Ever the better, we are off the hook for his $1.5 million salary. He struggled in spring training, and with the major league Rays, and struggled last year in San Diego as well, and was hitting .221/.258/.257 for Durham, so the chances of someone claiming him is highly unlikely, but we can always hope.

Jason Childers

'Go straight to jail, do not pass 'Go', do not collect $200' is what the Rays essentially told the hot commodity out of spring training. Childers was released by the team on Wednesday to make room for the trio added. It is better this way. Childers was not going to get a chance with this team again, and was pitching horribly for Durham, to the tune of a 7.45 ERA in 18 games for the Bulls. And this after not surrendering an earned run in spring training and coming out of nowhere to make the Rays' Opening Day Roster, which he was later taken off of despite a 4.70 ERA. Not a major loss here, I wish Jason the best of luck, it was good knowing you.