Well, the Bucs were stockpiling OF'ers. They lightened the load a little today, dealing a couple to playoff teams before the September deadline.
First, they sent John Bowker to the Phils and in return, the Bucs get a PTBNL or cash. Bowker was part of the return for Javier Lopez. In his four big league seasons, he hit for a line of .237/17/73. The Phils have been having trouble with LH bench strength, first releasing Jack Cust and suffering through a terrible Russell Gload slump. They're hoping that Bowker, a career .301 pinch hitter in the show, fills that gap.
Next to go was Matt Diaz. He was shipped to the Braves, also for a PTBNL. He signed a two year deal with the Pirates when Atlanta non-tendered him last season, and will be owed $2M in 2012. The Pirates were reported to have included an undisclosed amount of cash. Diaz was a class act that unfortunately lost all ability to power a ball and was hitting just .259. Maybe returning to Atlanta will return his mojo, too.
Did either of these moves help the franchise? Nah. They just kept the line moving in a position that was pretty crowded and provided a couple of players the opportunity to win some playing time after they had fallen out of the Bucs' future plans. It also opens up Diaz's spot on the 40-man for a September call-up.
So the Bucs did a little housecleaning. And it does throw a spotlight on the problems they've had either attracting or properly evaluating off-season help. Kevin Correia is the only guy the FO has inked during free agency since they took over in 2008 who is left on the roster.
And you can add John Bowker to a long list of prospects collected for veteran players that haven't panned out, starting with Andy LaRoche and Brandon Moss.