Nashville, TN – Less than a month after acquiring shortstop Yunel Escobar in a monster 12-player deal with Toronto, the Miami Marlins have shipped him to the Tampa Bay Rays for a minor league infielder.
Miami acquired Escobar as part of a package that saw it send shortstop Jose Reyes, left-handed pitcher Mark Buehrle and right-hander Josh Johnson among others north of the border.
Escobar was a disappointment for the Blue Jays this past season, batting just .253 with nine home runs, 51 RBI and 58 runs scored in 145 games. He was also suspended late in the season for writing a homophobic slur on his eye black.
He reportedly had asked to be traded and was also being shopped to Oakland.
"Whatever happens, I want to thank the city of Miami for all the signs of affection in these days," Escobar told the El Nuevo Herald earlier on Tuesday. "Honestly, I had a lot of excitement to play in Little Havana, but it looks like it wont be that way. It's not something I can control."
Escobar, who will likely be able to play his natural shortstop position rather than third base -- where the Marlins had intended to put him -- will make $5 million this coming season. The Rays will also hold $5 million options on him for 2014 and '15.
With the $5 million the Marlins lose on Escobar's deal, they now have $21 million worth of commitments and just one arbitration-eligible player.
In return from Tampa, Miami gets 23-year-old Derek Dietrich, who was recently listed as the ninth-best prospect in the Rays' system. He hit .279 with 14 home runs and 28 doubles between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery this past year.
Over parts of three minor league seasons, the former second round pick is a career .278 hitter.