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Does Trading Matt Garza Mean Rays Are Giving Up on 2011?

Published reports this morning point to Matt Garza is going to the Cubs for SS/2B Hak-Ju Lee, P Chris Archer, OF Brandon Guyer and C Robinson Chirinos. The deal isn’t signed sealed and delivered as of this morning, mostly because there are continued talks on expanding the deal and the Rays perhaps giving up another major-league player, and getting back another MiLB player.

Are the Tampa Bay Rays throwing in the towel on 2011?

Carl Crawford is now with the Red Sox, Jason Bartlett is a San Diego Padre, Rafael Soriano may end up with the Yankees setting up for Mariano Rivera (and if not he definitely will be closing somewhere other than Tampa), and now it appears that Garza will be joining Carlos Pena with the Cubs.

I’m guessing that no one asked Evan Longoria or David Price what they thought about these moves. It’s a total dismantling of the team! Here we have a franchise that worked since its inception to be spoken about in the same sentence as the Yankees and Red Sox. They were there! The Rays won the American East two out of the last three years, made the World Series in 2008 and were one of the very best teams in all of baseball two out of the past three years!

The dismantling of these smaller market teams after they’ve reached a certain level of competitiveness is just not good for baseball. Sure the smaller market teams can compete, the Ray just did; and now they have to go back to joining the likes of the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates, teams that can’t keep players once they become stars. Put a check mark in the MLB salary cap / salary floor category.

You have to feel badly for the few Rays fans there are... - Paul Leume

Paul is a MLB columnist from Montreal, Canada. Paul, a one-time beat writer covering the Montreal Expos for the Montreal Gazette is a proud grandfather of 3 girls and now spends his time offering his thoughts and prospective on Major League Baseball on a variety of blogs and websites throughout Al Gore's internet.

You may email Paul at

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