LaVelle E. Neal III is reporting that the Twins and Rays are close to a deal which would send RHP Matt Garza, SS Jason Bartlett, and RHP Juan Rincon to the Rays for OF Delmon Young, INF Brendan Harris, and OF Jason Pridie. I'll have more on the deal when/if it becomes official, but at first glance I like this deal. Delmon Young is the young hitter the Twins need, a 22 year old with tons of upside. He's played a little centerfield in the majors, but I'm not sure how well it suits him as he's been mainly a corner outfielder. I liked Garza, but getting Young back for him is a great deal. I also like Bartlett, but a swap of him for Harris (who has played short but I have read is better suited at 2nd) is at least a wash. Harris slugged .434 last year in the majors and is a year younger than Bartlett. Rincon lost his role with the Twins in 2007 and they have better relievers for late-inning situations. Pridie is 23 and was taken by the Twins in the Rule V draft at one point (I'm not sure why he didn't play with the Twins), and looks a solid centerfield prospect who could step in next year. All in all, this is what we as Twins fans have been asking for: trade some of the young pitching for young hitters.
As for the Santana deal, all this does is cement the fact that the Twins need an MLB-ready pitcher in return. Yesterday, I advocated a trade of young pitchers for young hitters if the Twins got someone like Phil Hughes for Santana, and now it is (possibly) just being done in the reverse order. One thing is clear though: this team is not going to be silent like it has in the past couple offseasons, and whether that is because of the new GM or the situation the Twins are in, it is a great thing!
UPDATE 10:34 PM 11/28: Apparently, the Rays either decided they didn't want Rincon or some sort of medical concerns with his elbow prevented his being traded. The deal is now officially, but unfortunately the Twins had to give up RP Eduardo Morlan instead of Rincon. That significantly lessens my excitement for this trade. I don't necessarily feel that it was a bad deal now, but Morlan is a good prospect while Rincon is going to be a relatively expensive option out of the bullpen next year. Hopefully the Twins can still trade Rincon and get some spare parts for him, though this medical concern may render that impossible.
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