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Morning news and links!

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This Date in Team History

In 2001, the Rays acquired former Rookie of the Year, Ben Grieve from the Athletics in exchange for the late Cory Lidle. Meanwhile, the Royals made it a three team deal as they sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland and received Roberto Hernandez from Tampa Bay, as well as Angel Berroa and A.J. Hinch from Oakland.

Grieve's career didn't turn out so well with Tampa Bay and he was out of baseball just a few years later. Lidle journeyed from team to team enjoying moderate success, but tragically passed away in a plane crash following the 2006 season, whose career you can read more about here in my 'Classic Player Profile'. Damon enjoyed the most successful career of anyone involved in the deal as he provided quality leadership and play until 2012.

Ellis had a similar career to Damon, with slightly less success. Hernandez served as a reliever for several different teams throughout the years, however he wasn't very effective and he retired following the 2007 season. Angel Berroa was the 2003 Rookie of the Year but didn't accomplish not much else;  A.J. Hinch was just terrible.

So I'm going to declare Oakland as the winner of this deal.

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Trivia Time!

The answer to yesterday's trivia was Hak-Ju Lee, answered correctly by Brickhaus

The lone wrong answer was Reid Brignac.

Today's Prospect:

[Prospect's] power took a step forward in 2004, as his 22 homers matched his previous career total. IL managers rated him the league's top defensive catcher. He has a strong arm and a quick release, and he's also a capable receiver. An outstanding leader, he won the trust of a veteran [Triple-A] pitching staff and improved his game-calling skills.

Hint: A mainstay on his team's top ten list during the mid-2000's

Answer will be revealed around noon

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There are 86 days until Opening Day!

That's the same number of runs allowed by Jeff Niemann during the 2010 sseason.

Zero of those runs came during the dominating start against Toronto.

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Links!

- Outfielders are finally beginning to sign as the Giants and Denard Span agreed to a three year deal worth $31 million.

- Grant Brisbee took a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of this year's Hall of Fame voting.

- Another chapter begins in the Rays stadium saga as the team has a new deal to present to the city council. We'll have more on this later.

- Rays Colored Glasses a look at Spencer Moran

- Fred McGriff received an upswing in votes for the first time since 2012, however Rays Index thinks it may be too little too late.

Crashburn Alley took a look at Phillies recent acquisition Jeremy Hellickson

Random Ray of the Day!