Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

Hot Stove League profile: Jason Bartlett

Posted on: November 18, 2010 5:51 pm
 
Hot Stove League Through Nov. 26, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today: trade candidate Jason Bartlett.

In a environment where finding quality middle infielders is a rare occurrence, the Rays are sitting pretty with Jason Bartlett as a trading chip.

Tampa is likely to trade away Bartlett, as the 31-year-old (birthday on Oct. 30) is slipping in production while his salary is certain to rise from the $4 million he made in 2010. He has one final year of arbitration left before hitting free agency, but among a team mandate to slash payroll and with a ready replacement at short in Reid Brignac (plus possibly Sean Rodriguez) could usher Bartlett out the door.

Bartlett held his own at the plate while with the Twins, giving the club superior defense. In his first campaign in Tampa Bay in the 2009 season, he hit .320, which hid a slipping defense. However, that defense seems to have slipped further while he produced the worst offensive campaign since 2005, his rookie season where he amassed 252 plate appearances.

Bartlett STATS

2010: .254/.324/.350 in 532PA, 11 SB, 6 CS, -13.8 UZR/150, 2 DRS

Career: .281/.345/.385 in 2,801 PA, 100 SB, 27 CS, 4.5 UZR/150, 40 DRS

WHAT IT WILL TAKE

Even though other teams know just as well as the Rays do that it makes sense for Tampa to deal away the youngster, the Rays won't part with Bartlett easily. There's plenty of holes on Tampa to fill that the club could go in many different directions.

One such direction is the bullpen, where the Rays have to do a complete makeover. The outfield, a replacement middle infielder, a first baseman or simply prospects close to the majors could all fit in a Bartlett deal.

WHERE HE COULD GO

Bartlett has already been linked to the Orioles, with Baltimore dangling reliever David Hernandez. Hernandez is capable of starting, but could fashion himself a nice, long career as a setup man or even closer.

The Giants are also in the market for a shortstop, and could offer its own young relievers (Sergio Romo?) or an outfielder in Nate Schierholz. The Rays might also have interest in first baseman Travis Ishikawa.

Other teams in need of shortstops include the Reds, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Mariners and Cardinals.

PREDICTION

A need to slash payroll, a player whose salary is rising but production is declining and a replacement ready to go all spells Bartlett's departure. He will get dealt to the Cardinals, who desperately want to improve shortstop but can't commit long-term dollars to the position until Albert Pujols' contract is resolved.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Nov 2, 2010
Posted on: November 20, 2010 8:23 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Jason Bartlett

Whoever gets Jason Bartlett will have themselves a Find. The Rays have a crop of players who were platooned as Rookies this season who largely outperformed the veterans. The Rays Fans know that the team can't pass up a middle infield of Reid Brignac at SS and Sean Rodriguez at 2nd base much longer. Jason is SOLID. In fact, he came in 3rd in Gold Glove voting for SS this year. But Reid Brignac is a brilliant fielder. Sean Rosriguez is simply OtherWorldly. But together...MMMMM. They literally are a nightly highlight rell all by themselves and a pure double-Play Machine. They have been described as a Middle tandem as Trammel-Whitaker and it is a VERY Apt Comparision. You can't keep that in Platoon for too long. It's jist plain Rare.

That puts the Rays in a tough situation with Jason. He's liked by the fans and a very good ballplayer. But for a team cutting payroll with what's waiting in the wings, they almost have no choice but to trade him. And OH, Fans of whoever gets him: He may not be a Diamond. But he's at last a Semi-Precious Stone.



Since: Aug 12, 2009
Posted on: November 19, 2010 3:30 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Jason Bartlett

As a Giant fan, It think he will fit perfect with the Giants not to mention a local guy. I would hate to lose any of the three but if I had to I will trade Romo for Bartlett


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com