A source close to the Devil Rays’ scouting department filled me in recently on their outfielder extravaganza.
It’s well known Joey Gathright is on the block. If you’re looking for a scrappy player with no power who runs real fast, Gathright is your man. It’s unknown whether Gathright can make his on-base skills shown at Triple A Durham translate to the big leagues, but some team besides the Rays will find out soon enough. I’m not yet able to narrow down the list of his suitors to a single digit number.
Infinitely more interesting than Gathright is the possibility (albeit slim) that Carl Crawford could be dealt. Crawford was "a little shocked" by Rocco Baldelli’s deal, and rightfully so. After all, where was Baldelli while Crawford was busy being the 10th best LF in the game in ’05? 2006 could be the year Crawford busts out and hits 20 HR.
According to my source, the Angels are hot on the trail of Baldelli, Gathright, and Crawford. The Rays are quite enamored with 22 year-old righthander Ervin Santana. Santana had a solid rookie season in ’05, winning 12 games for the Angels.
Another team in the running for Crawford is the White Sox. They’re not entirely sold on Brian Anderson in center field for a defending World Champion, and the Devil Rays are asking for Brandon McCarthy and/or Josh Fields.
McCarthy pitched with a vengeance in September and October of 2005, tossing 43 innings of 1.69 ERA ball. He led the Minor Leagues in strikeouts in 2004.
Third baseman Josh Fields is in the Sox’s top ten prospect list for sure. However, he was just OK at Double A Birmingham in ’05, hitting .252/.341/.409 in 477 at-bats. Fields is a hard worker, but still needs plenty of seasoning in the minors.
Thanks to Matt