The Tampa Bay Rays added third baseman Ryan Roberts to their organization Tuesday, sending minor league infielder Tyler Bortnick to the Arizona Diamondbacks in return.
Roberts, nicknamed “Tat Man” for his numerous tattoos, had been designated for assignment by his former club a short time earlier after hitting .250 with six home runs and 34 RBI in 83 games.
The 31-year-old, who joined the Diamondbacks in 2009, was a vital cog on the postseason-bound 2011 team, hitting .249 with 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 143 games.
He then hit .350 in that year’s National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, but it was for naught as Arizona lost the Series in five games.
Despite developing into a fairly reliable hitter, the Texas native initially had trouble sticking at the big league level. He came up with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006 and joined the Texas Rangers in 2008.
He had cups of coffee in each of his first three seasons, never playing more than nine games. In 2009, he joined the Diamondbacks and earned his first shot at semi-regular playing time, batting .279 with seven home runs in 305 at-bats.
Leaving the Rays franchise is 25-year-old Bortnick, a speedy second baseman with a knack for taking a base on balls. In his four-year minor league career, he is hitting .289 with 131 stolen bases and a .396 on-base percentage, with highs of .306, 43 and .428, respectively.
He has tapered off a bit this season, his first at Double-A, hitting only .253, he has 23 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .352.