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Rays work out trade with Marlins for shortstop Yunel Escobar

Dec 4, 2012, 10:43 PM EDT

yunel escobar getty Getty Images

From CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler comes word that the Rays and Marlins are close to a trade that will send shortstop Yunel Escobar to Tampa Bay in exchange for infield prospect Derek Dietrich.

Escobar was acquired by the Marlins as part of last month’s blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, but Miami never really planned on opening the season with him on their active roster. The 30-year-old native of Cuba even told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he did not feel wanted.

Escobar batted just .253/.300/.344 in 145 games this past season for Toronto, but he was much better in 2011 and had a fantastic 2009 season with the Braves. If the Rays can get him to focus, it could work out.

Dietrich, a former second-round draft selection out of Georgia Tech, hit .279/.338/.457 with 14 home runs and 75 RBI in 132 games this summer between High-A Charlottle and Double-A Montgomery. He’s 23 years old.

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UPDATE, 11:04 PM: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says the trade has been completed.

  1. thejotapee - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Not a bad deal for either team. I like Dietrich a lot, he’s got a ton of pop in his bat. He’s going to be a 20-30 HR hitting 2nd baseman.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      For another team besides the Marlins. He will get called up, do well, and get traded before he is resigned and makes any money. That will be the norm in Miami for the next 10 years…

  2. indaburg - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    This is really going to happen. Hopefully Maddon and Martinez can keep him in check. Even prior to the infamous homophobic slur incident, I never heard anything positive about him. Is the lack of hustle and lazy narrative based on fact, or preconceived notions?

    • historiophiliac - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Is there a particular rum solution you’d like in your IV?

      • indaburg - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        In honor of Yunel, how about some Mount Gay Eclipse Black rum. 100 proof. I’m going to need the strong stuff for this bad boy.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

        Moonshine it is, then.

      • cur68 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:01 AM

        I can start that line in a foot, hand, arm or scalp vein. Since I do this stuff for preterm babies these days I GUARANTEE you I’ll make it fast. Just because your boys helped my boys out by not adding a bat so far I’ll even dart you with one of my Special Valentine Blow Darts: you won’t feel a thing.

    • jaysjunkie - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      indaburg, the lack of hustle/lazy thing is something I witnessed once in a while over the past few seasons. Wouldn’t say it was a huge problem, but one that popped up a little more than you’d liked to see.

      My biggest issue with him was just the lack of maturity, as the eyeblack incident demonstrated in a huge way. It was other annoying things too, though, like him screwing around during games and playfully lifting a baserunner’s leg off the bag after they’d safely slid into second base – just amateurish and embarrassing, frankly. He’d also do stuff like take pop flies away from the position players that were more entitled (for lack of a better way to put it) to make the play. There was a fantastic camera shot of Kelly Johnson pretty much rolling his eyes at Escobar doing that in one of the games around the time of the eyeblack game.

  3. snowbirdgothic - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Wow. Between Elijah Dukes, Josh Lueke, Matt Bush and and now Yuni, it looks like the Rays have decided jackasses are the new market inefficiency.

    • indaburg - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      You forgot Luke Scott.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        And Delmon Young and Willy Aybar

    • mashoaf - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      They always have. Josh Hamilton and Delmon Young were also not class acts while being with the Rays.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Finally a questionable player someone besides the Red Sox snapped up.

  5. djpostl - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Pretty sure Miami’s payroll just dipped below $20M on that one.

    • mashoaf - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      The real question is what is the percentage of salary that Giancarlo Stanton takes up compared to there whole roster?

      • Jeremy T - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

        He’s still making pretty close to the minimum, so… not much

    • schlom - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      According to Cots it’s still over $20m:

      https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tQJ2iJ0-ErOo_z9G3xKSQ9g&output=html

      Discounting the one time payments to the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks it’s still at $22m not counting an arbitration players. Half of that is Ricky Nolasco though and I assume he won’t be on the team the entire season.

      • djpostl - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        Yeah. If Nolasco is dealt that is around 10-11M coming off I think.

      • jwbiii - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:29 AM

        If the Marlins trade Nolasco, their highest paid players will be Bell, Buehrle, Johnson, and Reyes.

  6. mydadyourmom - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    He is not lazy. He is just a sourpuss and sometimes makes foolish mistakes. Cannon of an arm. Hates gays.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      Hmmm, avg & ops seem to have declined except for 2011….WAR is up and down…not a clubhouse guy and will probably piss off some fans…I can see why people wouldn’t be excited about this one. He doesn’t suck for sure, but he’ll probably have to earn some appreciation.

    • kicksave1980 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:34 AM

      “Ya see Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy. It’s that I just don’t care.”

  7. paint771 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    As a Jays fan I was never one to dog on Yunel – for $5 mil a year you can do a helluva lot worse. He’s still got a very good year or two in him.

  8. ronswansonsdinner - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    As a Rays fan, I’m just happy to see that the dark days of having Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez switch off at shortstop are over.

    • shackdelrio - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      Amen to that. Now let’s get a catcher so we can stop this ridiculous streak of worse than mediocre guys behind the plate.

  9. Ari Collins - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Great move for the Rays. Escobar is a fantastic value, and they hardly have up a to prospect for him. Kudos.

  10. randygnyc - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Players association should sue Loria. Maybe a player wide strike against playing the marlins will put him out of baseball. And if I was nolasco, I’d be reporting to opening day with headaches and blurred vision. The kind that last 6 months. Even traveling to work isn’t safe ; – )

  11. rickeye9 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Jay dub, what?

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Derek Dietrich? Great porn name. Is it as good as Jake Long? Maybe, maybe not.

    • js20011041 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Richard Longfellow?

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