Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 12/4/12
Mlb-indians-blue-jays
The Tampa Bay Rays filled a consistent hole at shortstop, picking up Yunel Escobar from the Miami Marlins in exchange for infield prospect Derek Dietrich. Escobar's tenure in Miami was brief, as the Marlins immediately began trying to unload him once they acquired him from the Blue Jays last month in the megadeal that sent Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes (among others) north of the border. The 30-year old Escobar had the worst season of his career in 2012 with Toronto, and his year was tainted by the eyeblack controvery at the end of the season that surrounded Escobar in a cloud of controversy. For the season, Escobar posted a .644 OPS with his usual excellent defense at short. If Escobar is able to keep his head out of any controversial situations (like what happened with Escobar writing an anti-gay message on his eyeblack), he could be a very solid acquisition for the Rays at shortstop, a position where Elliot Johnson, Sean Rodriguez, and Ben Zobrist got most of the playing time in 2012. With the super-utility Zobrist probably earning most of the playing time at second this year, Escobar remains a substantial upgrade (in theory, at least) over Rodriguez (who struggled offensively) and Johnson (who struggled defensively). It will also give top prospect Hak-Ju Lee another season to mature in the minors. Lee, who turned 22 last month, struggled with a .692 OPS in AA in 2012. Escobar will make $5 million in 2013, and the Rays possess a pair of options for 2014 and 2015 at $5 million each. As for the return heading to Miami, Dietrich is a 23-year old second round pick from 2010. In 98 games in high-A for the Rays in 2012, Dietrich had an .811 OPS with ten homers before OPSing .753 in 34 games following a late season promotion to AA. In his full season debut for the club in 2011, Deitrich blasted 21 homers for the Rays. All in all, considering the state of the free agent market at the shortstop position, the Rays did well here...as long as Escobar doesn't create any turmoil off the field. His attitude problems ran him out of both Atlanta and Toronto, and he never got a chance to piss anyone off in Miami before leaving there. He's still an extremely talented player, albeit one who seemingly has no common sense and a fiery attitude. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Evander Kane wins back model girlfriend with billboard

Urban Meyer has 'feeling' who will start at QB

Report: Schilling to return to 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: Cardale Jones rushed to hospital with head pain

WATCH: Cubs' Baez swings so hard he falls down

WATCH: Boston host jokes Goodell should be murdered

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Mets get inside-the-park HR after OF flips over wall

Eli Manning remains unfazed about poor preseason

RG3 thinks 'Concussion' movie will 'make a lot of people mad'

Can Darrius Heyward-Bey replace Martavis Bryant for the first month in Pittsburgh?

Treon Harris to start at QB for Gators’ opening game

Marshawn Lynch campaigning for Seahawks to sign Fred Jackson

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker