Anaheim, CA (PressExposure) December 11, 2009 -- Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves are close to a trade that would send closer Rafael Soriano to the Rays and Jesse Chavez to the Braves.
The teams were waiting for the medical reports to be approved and Soriano seemed set to approve the trade -- a necessary component.
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The Braves need to deal Soriano after signing free agents Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito. Soriano, who had 27 saves this season, surprised Atlanta by accepting salary arbitration. The Wagner and Saito signings made Soriano redundant.
Chavez was part of the trade this offseason that sent second baseman Akinori Iwamura from the Rays to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nats grab Wlodarczyk: The Washington Nationals picked Biscuits reliever Mike Wlodarczyk in the minor-league portion of Thursday's Rule 5 draft.
Wlodarczyk, who turned 27 last week, was 1-4 with five saves and a 5.40 ERA in 47 games for Montgomery this year. He made one regular-season appearance and pitched in the playoffs for Triple-A Durham.
The left-hander was a seventh-round draft pick by the Rays in 2005.
Rays trade drafted Zerpa: Left-handed pitcher Armando Zerpa went from the Boston Red Sox to the Rays in the major-league portion of the Rule 5. The Rays then traded Zerpa to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Zerpa, who has never pitched above Class A, has to stay in the major leagues all of next season or the Red Sox can reclaim him.
Zerpa, 22, was a combined 2-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 742/3 innings this season, his first with a full-season team. Zerpa was a South Atlantic League All-Star after beginning the year with a 1.20 ERA in 22 appearances with the Greenville Drive.
Rays take 1, lose 1: The Rays lost one pitcher and added another in the minor-league Rule 5.
Doug Salinas, who was 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 22 games at short-season Hudson Valley, went to the Cincinnati Reds. He's 22.
Tampa Bay picked right-hander Miguel Sierra from the Cubs. Sierra, 21, finished 2-2 with a 5.73 ERA between two short-season teams this year.
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