|6-player trade sends Delmon Young from Rays to Twins for Garza|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 28 November 2007 18:16|
In a swap of promising youngsters that's been discussed for weeks, the Twins also gave up starting shortstop Jason Bartlett and minor league pitcher Eduardo Morlan while acquiring shortstop Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Jason Pridie.
While many around baseball were waiting for Minnesota to make a blockbuster deal, this wasn't it. The Twins are involved in trade talks involving ace Johan Santana, who can become a free agent after next season.
The talented but troubled Young was runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year this season and gives Minnesota an athletic outfielder to replace All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter.
A seven-time Gold Glove winner, Hunter agreed to a $90 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels this month, leaving the Twins in dire need of another proven outfielder.
Young batted .288 with 13 homers and 93 RBIs in his first full major league season, though he walked only 26 times with 127 strikeouts. He also had 38 doubles and 10 steals and should boost a lineup that was lagging this season.
Young has a rather hot-headed history for a 22-year-old. The first overall pick in the 2003 draft famously flipped his bat into the chest of a Triple-A umpire in 2006 and received a 50-game suspension for that. He got a three-game ban in 2005 for bumping an umpire in Double-A.
He also argued with Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon during a late-season game after he was removed for not running out a grounder.
But Young has unquestionable talent, possessing a rocket arm from his natural spot in right field. He also played center as an injury fill-in and appeared in all 162 games.
Garza gives the Rays, who need help for their rotation, a legitimate starter. One of the game's top prospects, Garza went 5-7 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 appearances, 15 starts, for Minnesota after he was called up right before the All-Star break.
``The trade is about the present, not the future. We're a better ballclub because of this deal,'' Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said.
Upset by his exclusion from the opening-day roster in the spring, Garza threw 15 straight scoreless innings after he was promoted from Triple-A. He also made 10 appearances for Minnesota in 2006.
``We have strengthened our team by adding an impact starting pitcher in Garza and an everyday shortstop in Bartlett,'' Friedman said. ``We have capitalized on our depth in certain areas to address more pressing areas of need. Because of that, we are now a better ballclub.''
He expects Bartlett to be the opening-day shortstop and Garza to fit nicely into the rotation with Scott Kazmir and James Shields, two other young pitchers. The other two spots will be open to competition in spring training.