Today opened with a rumor connecting Yunel Escobar to the Cubs, and it’s ending with Escobar traded … to the Rays. Now that’s the Winter Meetings.

Per multiple reports, initially from Danny Knobler, Escobar – and his extremely Tampa Bay-friendly contract – is headed to the Rays in exchange for infield prospect Derek Dietrich, a top 10/15 prospect in the Rays’ system. It’s unclear if there is more coming to the Marlins in the deal, but, if not, it’s clear that Escobar’s down 2012 season, coupled with his off-the-field-issues, depressed his price.

As I mentioned this morning, the Rays were a better fit for Escobar than the Cubs, among other reasons, because they likely view him as a shortstop, rather than a third baseman. Being that Escobar offers better-than-average defense at short, he’s more valuable there than he would be at third (even if he were also better-than-average at third base – shortstop is simply a more valuable, and harder to fill, position). Thus, he would be more valuable to the Rays than he would be to the Cubs.

And, so it was that he was dealt to the Rays, rather than the Cubs. Given everything that comes with Escobar, I’m pretty ambivalent to the non-move. It’s fine.

  • kranzman54

    Hey this frees up Keppinger though. All Rays can offer him is utility now. We have a starting spot for you Kepp. I think he would be a nice stop gap, at least the best option in this market.

    • Rcleven

      3 year 13.5 MM? Pass.

  • B_Scwared

    Bonifacio is now supposedly on the block. He can play all over the field (including 3B and CF). Would be a great leadoff hitter too and only 27.

  • B_Scwared

    With Lopez no longer going to the Phillies, I wonder if Marmol may be of interest to them now. Things could be shaping up nicely with them to take both Soriano and Marmol.

    • Frank

      Like is the case with Soriano, a lot of teams will have interest in Marmol depending on how much salary we’re picking up. And as I keep saying, if they really don’t plan on competing in the next two years, they should be willing to pick up as much as it takes for the best player return. This doesn’t mean that we shoul railroad these guys out of town. It means that we have to pay the money regardless, so we might be better off investing it in prospects than aging players who’s lockers will long since be cleaned out by the time the team is shaped up in the manner that they want.

  • justinjabs

    That was quick. Sheesh.

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  • fromthemitten

    wow I used to root for the Rays because of their underdog status but it’s kind of hard to now considering they also have Luke Scott’s racist ass