Padres Acquire Jason Bartlett

The Padres have acquired Jason Bartlett from the Rays, tweets Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio.  San Diego will also receive a player to be named later from Tampa Bay in exchange for Brandon Gomes, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, and Cole Figueroa.  The PTBNL will be a minor leaguer and will be worked out in advance of Opening Day, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

The two sides reportedly had a deal worked out last week in which Bartlett would be shipped westward for Russell and Ramos.  There were rumblings that the Rays were concerned about Ramos' health but the club apparently feels comfortable enough with a new deal in place.

The swap marks a homecoming of sorts for Bartlett, who was originally drafted by the Padres in 2001 before being shipped to the Twins roughly one year later.  The shortstop shined in 2009 but slumped in 2010, hitting .254/.324/.350 with four home runs in 532 plate appearances.

With seemingly every Rays reliever on the free agent market, and limited spending power, Rays president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had to get creative to find relief help. Russell, a 27-year-old right-hander, pitched 15 2/3 innings for the Padres in 2010, posting 10.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 4.02 ERA. He also appeared in 50 Triple-A games, posting a 4.88 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9. It marks the second time in two years that he's been traded; the Padres acquired him in the 2009 Jake Peavy deal.

Ramos, 26, pitched briefly for the 2010 Padres, but spent much of the season at Triple-A Portland, where he posted a 3.28 ERA as a swingman. He has never struck out an overwhelming number of hitters (5.9 K/9 in 2010) and his walk rate rose to 4.0 BB/9 this year. The lefty turned down the chance to sign with Tampa Bay when they drafted him in the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Three years later, he signed with the Padres after they selected him 35th overall.

Figueroa was ranked as the Padres' 30th best prospect heading into 2010 by Baseball America.  According to the publication, the middle infielder is a patient hitter with lackluster power.  Defensively, he has an average arm and great hands, meaning that he'll likely wind up at second base.

Gomes, a right-handed pitcher, has spent the last two seasons in Double-A San Antonio.  Since earning the promotion, the 26-year-old has registered a 2.24 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 116 appearances.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


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