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July 27, 2007

Lofton Traded

Texas has traded outfielder KENNY LOFTON to Cleveland for catcher MAX RAMIREZ. Texas also recalled outfielder NELSON CRUZ from AAA Oklahoma.

A nice return for two months of a 40-year-old outfielder. Lofton fulfilled his role perfectly, which was to produce at a respectable rate for a good team or serve as worthy trade bait for a bad one.

Ramirez has a career minor-league line of .306/.407/.494, though he’s never been young at any level. He’s currently hitting .303/.418/.505 in the high-A Carolina League, which is significantly less hitter-friendly than the Cal League he’ll join. Good contact, great eye, decent power… and dubious defensive skills. There’s question of whether he can get by as a catcher, and he’d make an awfully short first baseman (5-11).

He’s not on the 40-man roster now but must be added this winter or face the Rule 5 draft. He’ll be added.

To my mild surprise, Cruz gets another shot. He destroyed Triple-A pitching, as is his wont, but only a few days ago his manager noted that he still chases too many bad pitches. I’m skeptical.

Posted by Lucas at July 27, 2007 06:38 PM