Work in Sports
Trachsel, Guthrie go from Rays to Jays
"People are looking at what we did as a long-term deal because we got some prospects," Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said of the trio of deals the team made in the days leading up to Monday's trade deadline.
"But we were looking to get better next year and this gives us a chance to do that. We're better for the future, and the future is next year."
The third-place Blue Jays entered the day four games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East and in fourth place in the wild-card race. Toronto's 5.45 ERA is 12th in the AL.
Trachsel, most famous for allowing Mark McGwire's record-breaking 62nd homer in 1998, was 6-10 with a 4.58 ERA in 23 starts for Tampa Bay. He signed a $1 million, one-year deal with the Devil Rays this offseason, but could earn up to $4.5 million in performance bonuses.
The 29-year-old right-hander has been one of the most durable pitchers in the majors during his seven-year career. He hasn't missed a start since his only stint on the disabled list in 1994 -- a stretch of 186 consecutive outings -- and was acquired to stabilize Tampa Bay's rotation.
The highlight of his stay with the Devil Rays were back-to-back road victories in May over Boston's Pedro Martinez and New York's Orlando Hernandez.
But Trachsel was winless in his last six starts and 3-5 over his final 11 for the last-place Devil Rays after losing a major league-high 18 games with the Chicago Cubs in 1999.
"He did everything we asked, and so did Mark," LaMar said, adding that there were two factors that figured in the decision to part with Trachsel and Guthrie -- Tampa Bay is not in playoff contention and both players will be free agents after the season.
Guthrie, a left-hander, was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 34 games for the Devil Rays.
In Abernathy, LaMar said the Devil Rays got an outstanding prospect who will challenge Miguel Cairo for the starting second baseman's job next season. He initially will be assigned to Class AAA Durham.