Dec 21, 2009, 2:59 PM EST
Three weeks ago the Rays acquired Kelly Shoppach from the Indians for a player to be named later and this afternoon Mitch Talbot was announced as the mystery man heading to Cleveland.
Talbot and Ben Zobrist were the Astros prospects who went to the then-Devil Rays in the mid-2006 trade for Aubrey Huff. Zobrist has since emerged as one of the AL’s best players, putting together an MVP-caliber 2009 campaign, but Talbot has yet to stick in the majors and missed much of the season with elbow problems.
He pitched well when healthy, posting a 3.89 ERA and 67/18 K/BB ratio in 68.1 innings at Triple-A, and because he’s out of minor-league options the Indians seemingly acquired him with an eye toward giving him a big-league job in 2010. Talbot’s upside is limited because he doesn’t have great raw stuff and is already 26 years old, but he throws strikes, misses a fair number of bats, and potentially could be a back-of-the-rotation starter if healthy.
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