Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist have been traded to the Athletics.
Matt Silverman and the Rays have traded Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist to the Athletics.

The Rays officially announced that they have traded starting middle infielders, Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar, to the West Coast Rays — the Oakland Athletics.

Additionally, the Rays formally announced the acquisition of INF Asdrubal Cabrera, who signed a one year, $7.5M contract. As we opined a week back (when news of the Cabrera deal originally broke), the acquisition only made sense if either Zobrist or Escobar were to be dealt elsewhere. Suffice it to say, no one expected Silverman to deal both Zobrist and Escobar.

According to Ken Rosenthal, who earlier retweeted Susan Slusser’s initial account of the trade, both players have been (rather at that point, were to be) moved to Oakland:

You may recall, the A’s claimed Yunel Escobar on revokable trade waivers last fall, but he requested to not be traded, preferring to stay with the Rays. It should now be assumed that Asdrubal Cabrera will be Tampa Bay’s primary short-stop, while Nick Franklin and Logan Forsythe will platoon second base. I’d also imagine the deal creates space for middle infielder Tim Beckham.

In return, Tampa Bay acquired former Rays catcher John Jaso, Athletics top SS prospect Daniel Robertson, and A-ball outfielder Boog Powell. According to, Roberston was rated number one among Athletics prospects, and Powell 11. Jaso, who is no stranger to playing DH, will more than likely platoon that position and catcher.

Matt Silverman released a statement on the move — more specifically, on Ben Zobrist,

An emotional and meaningful day as we bid farewell to Ben Zobrist and thank him for everything he’s meant to the Rays. Any description of his value, talent and character would understate how we feel about Ben, and we consider ourselves fortunate for all our great moments together.


  • My initial thoughts on the move: To be clear, this is a payroll dump of Escobar, and that part of the trade was warranted. Also, I get why Zobrist was traded — though I don’t have to like it. Both moves, on their own, make sense. Paired together though, I just don’t know. From a depth point of view I get it — Nick Franklin and Logan Forsythe can handle second, and it would be reasonable to assume the Rays will call up Tim Beckham as depth at short stop. Too, Jaso has some pop which is a plus. But, I can’t help but feel Tampa Bay now needs two consistent bats in the lineup; one to now compensate for the loss of Zobrist — which could be Jaso, I’d reckon — and another because they needed one all along.
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