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YOUNG'S TRADE SLOWS POSSIBLE T.B. / D.C. DEAL

[November 28th] --The Minnesota Twins traded pitcher Matt Garza to Tampa Bay for outfielder Delmon Young (there are other minor characters involved in the trade -- the biggest, at least to Nationals fans, is infielder Brendan Harris). I never heard rumblings about this deal yet the AP says it's been in the works for weeks.

So much for being inside-the-loop.

This trade does impact Jim Bowden and the Nationals during next week's winter meetings. What made either Rocco Baldelli or Elijah Dukes available was Delmon Young in Tampa's outfield, along with Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and Johnny Gomes.

Young, Dmitri's younger brother, fills the hole left by Tori Hunter, meaning the Rays no longer have extra outfielders to ship to Washington. Upton and Crawford are staying in Tampa, so the question becomes who takes over the other outfield spot. Basically, they have Baldelli, Dukes and Gomes available for one position.

Gomes has showed he is a tremendous 4th outfielder but really isn't a starter, and the Rays wouldn't dare trade Dukes on the chance that Baldelli will once again not complete the season healthy, and the Rays wouldn't dare trade Baldelli on the chance that Dukes continues to have "problems."

My guess is that both players go to Spring Training as co-starters with the assumption that at some point along the way, the team will be left with just one player, be it because of injury or jail time.

I think this deal means that Ryan Church remains the team's center fielder.

And that's not a bad thing.


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