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Devil Rays And Brad Lidge?

Combining a couple of reports this morning, it appears that the Devil Rays may have some interest in acquiring ousted Houston closer Brad Lidge.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle has a friend covering an AL East team reporting that his team is talking to Tim Purpura about Lidge.  Naturally one might think the Red Sox would be interested in Lidge for a setup role, as they've talked to the Astros about him in the past.

However, Jose's friend may be Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, who covers the Devil Rays.  Topkin reports that the Rays would make a good match with possible trading chips like Rocco Baldelli, Jason Hammel, Andy Sonnanstine, J.P. Howell, and Shawn Riggans.  Topkin thinks the presence of former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker and the previous Aubrey Huff deal could inhibit a Lidge deal now.  I imagine the Astros would pounce on a Baldelli for Lidge trade, but I don't see that happening.  The Astros are fairly well set in the outfield.

Drays Bay throws out Joel Guzman as a possibility, and notes that current Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey previously worked for the Astros.  Would the Rays really want to take on Lidge's $5.35MM and give up a solid player for him?  This club is not expected to win this year, though Lidge will not become a free agent until after the 2008 season.

The Phillies certainly need some bullpen help, though I'm not sure that Lidge would change things.  Scott Lauber of the Wilmington News Journal suggests the possibility, but only as speculation.

It should be noted that de Jesus Ortiz spoke to Purpura, and the GM's comments do not seem to indicate a trade anytime soon.

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Comments

I think that makes sense. I understand that the D-Rays aren't trying to "win now," but it's not as if we're talking about trading for Bob Wickman -- Lidge is still young and still under contract. I'm not sure what the Astros want in return, but Lidge's value has to be somewhat diminished because of the quick demotion.

As it works out, the Devil Rays could give a handsome prospect chip to get Lidge, and still be filled with their own prospects...But I think ROcco Baldelli is overpaying. Joel Guzman and another prospect would be great for him.

It's not going to happen, simply because the Astros will allow Lidge to pitch his way out of the slump, or into a trade. Lidge has way too much talent to just give him up now. Likely, we will go by the deadline if he doesn't find his form.

i wouldn't go so far to say that it won't happen, but i'm not sure who the astros would want from them. the stros biggest weakness r/n is starting pitching, and unless the rays are ready to dangle kazmir for a package involving lidge then it won't happen. however...

this is purely fantasizing on my part, and there's probably like a .00000001% chance of the rays trading kazmir or the stros trading a bunch of their top prospects in the same deal, but i would think that a package like patton, albers, sampson, and lidge would be hard to pass up if i'm the rays. especially considering how badly they need pitching depth.

I think this trade could work, but the Astros would have to eat some salary and not ask for too much in return. Lidge doesn't have too much value at this point.

I think a trade to tampa would be great. The Drays have a surpluss of young talent to use as trade bait. Plus i think it would do wonders for lidge to get out of the central divison(hell even the NL)and away from pujols.

Thats some pretty stupid fanboyism right there. Lidge and Kazmir in the same sentence? HAHAHAHAHAHA. That's a joke right? Kazmir is untouchable, he's the franchise player both on and off the field. For a struggling closer? Lidge is good but not nearly as valuable as an ace starter. They could give up one of their extra OF at best and be done with it.

patton, albers, sampson, and lidge?

Patton is the 58th best prospect in baseball. Albers is the 85th and Sampson isn't even in the Astros top 10 according to BA. Lidge is hold and expensive for the D-Rays. The D-Rays have 3 pitchers in the same top 100, 2 in the top 40. Maybe if this was Lidge circa 2004 this deal would make sense but not now. Kazmir is a top 3 young lefty in all of baseball. I don't see them trading him for anything that teams would be willing to part with.

Nobody is seriously talking about trading Kazmir... guys like Kazmir never get traded, right?

Astros would do well to get Upton or Baldelli for Lidge. Dukes would help them immensely too, but the character issues are way too much for Houston to even say his name. Upton could do more for Houston than Baldelli, since he can actually get on base, but Rocco's no slouch.

The problem is, Houston is already loaded in the outfield and fighting to find a spot for Hunter Pence. Luke Scott would have to be moved long term to accomodate another OF. BUT Houston needs a real CF and a leadoff guy. Pence may prove to be a good CF, but he's definitely not a leadoff hitter. Upton really would be nice for Houston... don't see TB coughing him up though.

Are you implying that the Rays would trade Baldelli for Brandon Lidge? Get serious.

Brandon Lidge?

I don't see why the Rays would want to get rid of Upton. I feel like the Astros would need to give up more than just Lidge plus eat some of the $5+ M.

I don't think that the Astros would want Baldelli because of the domino effect that would occur. Where would Pence play....do you trade Luke Scott to make room for Pence....it just doesn't make sense. If the Astros are going to strike a deal with the D-Rays its going to have to be for pitching and for someone who's not named Scott Kazmir. As much as I would like Kazmir in a Astros Uniform...its just not going to happen. The Astros aren't going to package Patton, Lidge, Albers, and Sampson for Kazmir. I think its nice for once to be on the other side of a Gerry Hunsicker trade. Gerry was always known for pulling off that big trade involving a top prospect for a "big name guy." Now given that Lidge's value is extremely low right now, but everyone still remembers how he was in 2004 and 2005.I would love to see a D-Ray package of Evan Longoria, Cole Hammels, and J.P Howell for Brad Lidge, Matt Albers, and Juan Guitterez. I don't think that the D-Rays are going to give-up Longoria though because if anyone should be untouchable it's that guy!

No way they give up Longoria for Lidge. He is too good and Zobrist is not a good major leaguer. I'm going to assume you mezant Jason Hammels not Cole. I think a Lidge + Albers/Sampson and some cash for Upton would be the trade that most makes sense.

Yeah my mistake....I meant Jason Hammels not Cole. Maybe you didn't read the last part of my message where i said..."I don't think that the D-Rays are going to give-up Longoria though because if anyone should be untouchable it's that guy".

Purpura will not trade for an outfielder. Remember, he gave up a cheap, legitimate center fielder so he could make room for Burke to play center field.
Hunsicker is not the Rays' GM, and I imagine Friedman might be kind of annoyed that everyone is giving Hunsicker all of the credit for the Huff trade. I think all of the credit there goes to Purpura and his senior advisor, Harvey.
On a side note, it was a mistake for the Astros to let Hunsicker leave. He deserves most of the credit for making the Astros a winning franchise. McLane does not deserve the "good owner" reputation he has. If he was concerned with winning, he wouldn't have promoted the toadie yes man, Purpura.

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