M's, Rays Exchange Power Relievers




Marcos Carvajal joined his fifth organization in the last 16 months on Thursday, when the Mariners traded him to the Devil Rays for minor league righthander Jose de la Cruz.

Carvajal, a 21-year-old righthander originally signed out of Venezuela by the Dodgers, was taken by the Brewers in the major league Rule 5 draft at the 2004 Winter Meetings. The Brewers immediately sold him to the Rockies, who kept him on their major league roster throughout last season. He went 0-2, 5.09 in 39 relief appearances in his big league debut. In 53 innings, he had a 47-21 K-BB ratio and allowed opponents to hit .259 with eight homers. Last December, the Rockies traded him to the Mariners for catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Carvajal has a powerful arm and is capable of reaching the upper 90s with his fastball, but he's still working on his slider and command. Tampa Bay assigned him to Double-A Montgomery.

De la Cruz, 22, is known as "The Aircraft Carrier" because he's 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2002, he has a lively 91-95 mph fastball and an improving slider. He too must improve his ability to locate his pitches within the strike zone. Last year, he went 3-6, 3.94 with a Rays system-best 19 saves in 50 games at low Class A Southwest Michigan. Opponents batted .224 with two homers against him. Assigned to high Class A Inland Empire to open 2006, de la Cruz has a career 5-8, 2.50 record with 27 saves in 82 pro games.

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