Thursday, July 23, 2015

A-Ram Rejoins Bucs for Jhonathan Barrios

Well, the first finger-in-the-dyke move has been made. The Bucs reacquired A-Ram from the Brewers for RHP Yhonatahan Barrios and cash (the Bucs take on $3M of the $5M+ Aramis is owed this year). He was originally dealt to Cubs in 2003 on this exact date with Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez and Matt Bruback. Ever since, he's been a Central Division rival and thorn in the side, hitting .290 with 33 HR against Pittsburgh.

Ramirez's slash is .247/11/47; Barrios, 23, is a converted infielder who went 1-3/2.68 with 21 K in 40 IP (tho he sits at 99) between Altoona & Indy. He's not considered one of the Pirates Top 25 prospects, so the price is right.

It's purely a desperately needed rental in response to Josh and Jordy going down, and is unquestionably an upgrade over the S-Rod/Brent Morel hot corner duo (tho he does offer another spot Rodriguez will have to fill as a late-inning defensive sub). Like AJ, A-Ram intends to retire after the year, so it gives him a shot at the ring late in his career.

Steve Lombardozzi was DFA'ed to clear room on the 40-man; when A-Ram hits town, they'll have to make a move to clear an active roster spot. We'd wager it's Brent Morel as the roster stands right now; this deal just made him superfluous. We'd also expect this just to be the start; a middle reliever, 1B and RH bench bat have to be on Neal's shopping list. Kinda makes you wonder if Adam Lind's name came up at all...

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