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Rays shore up ‘pen with Bradford

Posted Aug 7, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Aug 7, 2008 at 04:58 PM

SEATTLE—Good afternoon and apologies for the delay on this. Just rolled into this fair city.

As you likely know by now, the Rays today acquired right-handed reliever Chad Bradford from the Orioles for a player to be named later. At first blush, this seems like a pretty nifty pickup for Tampa Bay, given that the player to be named likely won’t be anyone too high on the farm system scale and Bradford should provide a boost for the bullpen.

Bradford, with his unorthodox, knuckle-dragging delivery, is the kind of guy most opposing hitters don’t like to face. The 33-year-old is 3-3 with 16 holds and a 2.45 ERA in 47 appearances for Baltimore this season and he gets a ton of groundballs—his 4.98 groundball to flyball ratio leads all relievers. As an added bonus, he has been to the postseason six times.

“Chad gives us a very different look in the bullpen from what we currently have,” Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said this afternoon. “He’s an extreme groundball pitcher that should enjoy a lot of success pitching in front of our infield defense.”

Bradford is under contract this year and next for $3.5 million per, and is also due a $500,000 bonus for being traded. He is expected to join the team here Saturday, according to Friedman, when a corresponding roster move will be made.

Looking over the bullpen, it would seem Al Reyes would be the most likely candidate to go, though the Rays have found ways to get creative in the past.

In other injury news, the Rays are waiting on Jason Bartlett to demonstrate he’s healthy before making a move to active Rocco Baldelli—probably at the expense of Ben Zobrist. And the team got bad news last night when Durham SS Reid Brignac had to leave the game after being hit by a pitch in the left wrist. The Rays believe he may have a fracture, which could eliminate Brignac’s chances of a September call-up.

Reader Comments

Por (RICH) on August 07, 2008 (Suggest removal)

MARK - HOW I HATE THE SUBMARINE AND THE KNUCKLE BALL PITCHERS <> MAYBE I STAND ALONE BUT BASEBALL WOULD BE BETTER WITHOUT THE JUNK BALLS <> THAT SHOULD STIR UP SOME COMMENTS. [HA] <> GUESS I AM FORCED TO LIKE THIS NEW GUY <> EITHER THEY DROP REYES-HAMMELL OR MILLER <> THINGS ARE LOOKING BETTER <> HOPE THEY FIND A WAY TO KEEP ZOBRIST !<> HOPE ROCCO HAS BEEN DOING HIS PUSH-UP’S !

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Por (Mike) on August 08, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Rich, i just don’t see what u see in Zobrist. He may be a nice guy, but they are not being paid for that. Ben will have a couple of good games, but then go 0-18, he can’t hit right handed, although he is much improved lefty. His play at shortstop leaves much to be desired. If Aybar or Longo can play SS in an emergency, then I say activate Rocco.

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Por (RICH) on August 08, 2008 (Suggest removal)

OK MIKE- AYBAR & LONGO CAN DO THE JOB AT [SS] <> PLUS ROCCO DESERVES A CHANCE TO PLAY & HOPEFULLY LIFT THE TEAM <> AS FOR ZOBRIST HE IS NO BARTLETT ON DEF BUT I LIKE THE NEW FOUND POWER WHICH IS BETTER THAN NAVI,BART AND AKI <> RIGHT WE DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP ZOBRIST BUT AYBAR HAS SLIPPED IN PRODUCTION <> THEY ARE ALL PRETTY DECENT FOR NOW ! IMAGINE 2009 !!

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