The question over whether the Tampa Bay Rays would be buyers or sellers leading up to the July 31 MLB non-waiver trade deadline hasn't been definitively answered yet, but the organization just added a new player.
#Rays have acquired INF Ryan Roberts from Arizona for Double-A INF Tyler Bortnick. Roberts will be here tommorrow.— Joe Smith (@TBTimesRays2) July 25, 2012
Joe Maddon and the Rays are 8.5 games behind the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East, but just 2.5 back of the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics for the second wild-card spot.
While the Rays appear to be bringing in extra talent in hopes of making a late-season playoff push, the Diamondbacks and general manager Kevin Towers haven't given much indication as to which direction they are headed.
Roberts is a little more than halfway through his one-year deal worth just over $2 million. Through 83 games played, the 31-year-old third baseman has hit .250 with six home runs and 34 RBI.
Tyler Bortnick was hitting .253 with four homers and 48 RBI through 95 games with Tampa Bay Double-A affiliate the Montgomery Biscuits.
Apparently, the Rays were not satisfied with Jeff Keppinger and a slew of other players manning the hot corner while Evan Longoria is working his way back to the big league lineup after missing much of the season due to a torn left hamstring.
In 143 games last season, Roberts swatted 19 dingers and drove in 65 runs in Arizona. He also scored 86 runs and stole 18 bases, so there's no doubt that he can bring some versatility to a Rays lineup that could surely use it.