|The Tigers shipped situational lefty reliever Clay Rapada, who is out of options, to the Rangers in exchange for a player to be named. The trade did not have Rule 5 draft ramifications.|
|We'll analyze the player headed to Detroit as soon as he's announced.|
|Clay Rapada, lhp
Born: March 9, 1981 in Portsmouth, Va.
Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 200. Bats: R. Throws: L.
School: Virginia State.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Cubs, July 14, 2002 … Traded by Cubs to Tigers for OF Craig Monroe, Aug. 30, 2007.
Rapada has fared poorly in three trials in the big leagues, getting hammered by righthanded batters while walking too many lefthanded ones (.235/.361/.333 in 62 plate appearances). But it's been a different story in the minors. Rapaca handcuffed lefthanded batters in the International League both last season (.210/.279/.274) and also in 2008 (.207/.304/.379), but his low, side-arm slot makes him extremely vulnerable to righties. He hits his spots with a fastball that ranges from 84-87 mph and features solid tailing life, while mixing in a sweeping slider to buckle the knees of lefties. He holds runners and fiels his position well. The Rangers will have to keep him on the 25-man roster or risk losing him to waivers if they try to send him back to Triple-A.