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This Date in Tampa Bay Rays History - In 2009, traded RHP Jesse Chavez to the Atlanta Braves for RHP Rafael Soriano

“We aren’t getting a $7M closer” - Sternberg, just days before getting a $7M closer

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 4 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On this date in 2009, just days after Tampa Bay Rays owner, Stuart Sternberg claimed the Rays would not be acquiring a $7M closer, the Rays went out and acquired RHP Rafael Soriano from the Atlanta Braves for RHP Jesse Chavez. Soriano would make $7M during the 2010 season.

A chain of events led the Rays to being able to acquire Soriano as the reliever surprised the Atlanta Braves by accepting arbitration instead of becoming a free agent. Not wanting to be tied down to his salary commitment in 2010, the Braves looked to trade him.

The Tampa Bay Rays meanwhile, had just acquired RHP Jesse Chavez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2B Akinori Iwamura at the start of the off-season, in a salary dump of a move.

The Braves and Rays would come together on a trade that sent Rafael Soriano to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jesse Chavez.

Soriano excelled as the closer for the Rays in 2010, helping them to be one of the top teams in baseball. Unfortunately, they had a quick exit from the postseason, losing the ALDS in five games to the World Series bound Texas Rangers.

Sorinao pitched in 64 games for the Rays in 2010 and had a 1.73 ERA / 2.81 FIP, while holding hitters to a minuscule .162 average against in just over 62 innings pitched. Soriano became a free agent that off-season and signed a three year deal with the New York Yankees. Afterwards, he joined the Chicago Cubs, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015.

Jesse Chavez meanwhile has struggled to find a home, despite several solid years, he has spent time with six different teams since the start of the 2011 season. He is currently a free agent.