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Rays Acquire Virgil Vasquez for PTBNL

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According to Rob Biertempfel's twitter feed (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), the Rays have acquired 27-year old right-hander Virgil Vasquez from the Pirates for a player to be named later. Vasquez was drafted by the Tigers in the 7th round of the 2003 amateur draft out of University of California-Santa-Barbara. He has been a waiver claim of the Red Sox, Padres, and Pirates before coming to the Rays organization.

Vasquez has appeared in 19 major league games including 10 starts, the bulk of which occurred in 2009. In 421 AAA innings he achieved a K/9 of 6.7 and a BB/9 of 1.8. He doesn't stand out as a ground ball pitcher and seems to have a knack for allowing home runs.

His pitch makeup consists of a 89 MPH fastball, slider, curve, and change all of which generate below league average whiff amounts. Vasquez was removed from the Pirates 40-man roster in November, so he is on a minor league deal. He may provide starting pitching depth to the thin group (not a Heath Phillips pun) in Durham. If he does make a major league appearance, it appears he will be out of options. There is some speculation that the PTBNL may be Elliot Johnson who was waived yesterday due to having no remaining options available.