Rays Making Moves Before Deadline

July 28, 2007 at 5:18 pm 8 comments

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays made some moves today. They traded 3B Ty Wigginton to the Houston Astros for former Ray right-handed reliever Dan Wheeler and Jorge Cantu to the Reds for Brian Shackelford. They also sent reliever Shawn Camp to AAA.

Wheeler, 30, is 1-4 with a 5.07 ERA in 45 games for the Astros. He took over as the Astros’ closer when Brad Lidge struggled earlier in the season. Wiggington was batting .275 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs. Last year, he had a career-high 24 homers and 79 RBIs.

“We’re going to need a third baseman moving forward, [Mike] Lamb is a free agent,” an Astros official told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. “He’s a guy who’s hit 25 home runs. He’s played a lot of positions if you need him to do that.”

The Rays also traded infielder Jorge Cantu, minor league OF Shaun Cumberland, and cash to the Cincinnati Reds for reliever Brian Shackelford, minor league pitcher Calvin Medlock, and future considerations.

The Reds optioned Cantu to Triple-A Louisville.

The 25-year-old Cantu had played out his welcome in Tampa Bay after setting the Devil Rays’ single-season club record in 2005 with 117 RBIs with 28 home runs while hitting .286. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player that season.

Last season, he hit .249 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs, and he hit .207 in 25 games with the Devil Rays this year. He was sent to the minors on July 19 and said at the time he expected he’d played his last game for Tampa Bay.

Shackelford spent parts of the 2005 and 2006 seasons with the Reds. He was 0-5 in 41 relief appearances with Louisville this season. Tampa Bay also received minor league right-hander Calvin Medlock, 24, who was a combined 4-3 in 42 relief appearances with Louisville and Double-A Chattanooga. Medlock also has a career Minor League record of 29-15 and a 3.24 ERA in 164 games (41 starts) since he was drafted by the Reds in the 39th round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft

The Reds also received outfielder Shaun Cumberland, who was hitting .246 with six home runs and 34 RBI for Double-A Montgomery. Cumberland was assigned to Chattanooga.

The Devil Rays have been making wholesale changes to what has been the worst bullpen in baseball. Over its last 30 innings, the bullpen has given up 44 runs.

The team added reliever Grant Balfour in a trade with the Brewers on Friday, and sent down Shawn Camp on Saturday. On Monday, they placed Jay Witasick on the 15-day disabled list, sent J.P. Howell to Triple-A Durham and called up Jason Hammel and Juan Salas from Durham.

The Rays are making some good moves. They absolutely need to improve their bullpen and they are also saving money by doing so.

Ty Wigginton, for all you fantasy leaguers, should thrive over in Houston. He will have a good park to hit in and won’t lose playing time.

Jorge Cantu can hopefully resurect his career with the Reds like former Ray Josh Hamilton.

Josh Wilson looks to get the bulk of the playing time with Wigginton getting traded. But if Baldelli comes back Upton could be moved back to 2B and Wilson will go back to the bench. One scenario I would like to see is the Rays give 3B prospect Evan Longoria a cup of coffee and see if he can be what Ryan Braun has been to the Milwaukee Brewers. That move would push Iwamura to 2B though and might not get too much consideration.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
Information from the Associated Press and Buster Olney at ESPN.com were used in this column.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Dear Gary Sheffiled: What is Wrong with You? Honoring the Legends…….

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Doug  |  July 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    i am surprised that the devil rays traded Jorge Cantu, a talented second baseman to the Reds, who have Brandon Phillips, a very underrated second baseman who can be said is one of the National Leagues best at his position

    Reply
  • 2. MikeMcGinnis  |  July 29, 2007 at 12:21 am

    don’t get the whole wigginton to the astros thing. they are going nowhere why are they buyers??? this also all but seals the fate of mark loretta it wouldn’t surprise me to see him play at shea for the mets by the end of next week.

    but, i like the fact the rays are attempting to try to sort out the sad state of affairs that is their bullpen

    Reply
  • 3. charlie  |  July 29, 2007 at 5:27 am

    The Wigginton move makes NO sense. 1. they already have two 3rd basemen in Morgan Ensberg, and Mike Lamb. Then Mike Lamb and Lance Berkman share time at first. With Carlos Lee, Luke Scott, and Hunter Pence (who’s on the DL) with Lance Berkman in the outfield mix, WHERE IS HE GOING TO PLAY!?! He’s got to be part of another deal that’s going to happen, for some prospects. I like the rest of the moves the DRays completed however. Cantu needed that change of scenery, and going to Cincy with the hitter’s park is only going to help.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 29, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Doug – The Rays, in my opinion, did a good job getting value for Cantu in the trade market. He wasn’t part of their plans for the future and they got a reliever and a young arm that can be a good middle reliever by next season.

    Cantu really needs a change of scenery and he could take the 3B job away from Edwin Encarnacion if he hits enough to prove he belongs back. I think Cantu is very happy with the outcome of this.

    Reply
  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 29, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Mike – I think the plan on Wigginton for the Astros is for him to be their 3B the next 2-3 years. He’s still under the team’s control through the 2009 season. I think they got great value for him, especially since Morgan Ensberg has done nothing and Mike Lamb becomes a free agent next season. The Astros are playing for next season and they didn’t have to give up any key components.

    Reply
  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 29, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Charlie – The Wiggy move clears room for the Astros to trade Loretta and Ensberg. They will lose Lamb to free agency after the season and Biggio to retirement. Wiggy can also play 2B to give Chris Burke a day off. I love the move for both the Astros and the Rays.

    Reply
  • 7. charlie  |  July 30, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Yep, it looks like Wigginton is going to be playing 3rd base for the ‘Stros. They designated Morgan Ensberg yesterday. I’m sure Loretta will be moved yet too.

    Reply
  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 30, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I’ve heard they are trying to move both of those guys and Mike Lamb. We’ll see…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Recent Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers

Twitter Updates

Facebook Page

Archives


%d bloggers like this: