According to a Seattle Marniers team press release, the Rays have traded John Jaso to the Mariners for RHP Josh Lueke and a player to be named later, or cash considerations.
Jaso, 28, hit .224/.298/.354 in his first full year as the Rays second catcher behind Kelly Shoppach who, as you may recall, is now a free agent after Tampa Bay chose not to exercise his option a little more than a month ago.
Lueke, 27, was acquired by Seattle in the 2010 Cliff Lee deal, and posted a 6.06 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 25 appearances last season. I’m not too certain how I feel about Lueke’s, ahem, moral judgement, or lack there of. Strike that, I’m quite certain that I’m not psyched in any way, shape, or form about Josh Lueke’s lack of moral judgement by virtue of his 2008 entry into the annals of scummy human actions.
I can only imagine that this trade was the best possible means of getting rid of Jaso, without including him in a package deal. Nevertheless, to say that Lueke is not really the typical Rays player is akin to saying that water is wet; that is to say it’s stating the obvious.
All of this comes of the heals of the rumored signing of former Blue Jays catcher, Jose Molina. It’s been reported that the Molina deal is imminent, and the Rays are waiting for a clean bill of health to make that acquisition official. Dare I say a deal to re-obtain Shoppach on the cheap may be in line?
*December 7 Update*
To clarify, Matt Mangini was not acquired in the John Jaso trade. As per an update from the St. Petersburg Times Rays beat writer, Marc Topkin,
“The player to be named in the John Jaso/Seattle trade will not be named as a product of the Rule 5 draft.”