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Friedman on Percival: "We expect he will be back to anchor our bullpen in 2009"

The surgery on Troy Percival's back was a successful one according to a report by The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in California. Most reports say Percival will be throwing off a mound in March. The Rays will look to add a reliever or two to the mix, but for now expect Percival to be closing out games if/when healthy.

"We're hopeful that this surgery will allow Troy to pitch pain-free next season and return to the form we saw in the first half of 2008," said Andrew Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations. "We believe his various ailments in 2008 were a direct result of his back issues, so we expect he will be back to anchor our bullpen in 2009."

Friedman sure sounds a lot more optimistic that most of us. It's a long shot, but maybe he's trying to hype up Percival's value. At this point if he could find anybody to take Percival's $4 million dollar salary for a PTBNL, I'd consider it a steal for Friedman.

Otherwise we are stuck with Al Reyes pt. 2.