Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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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.