Devil Rays acquire Green from Braves
Tampa Bay claims OF Restovich off waivers from Twins
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Devil Rays acquired the utility infielder they've been wanting in a trade with the Braves, then they brought in some outfield help via the waiver wire on Thursday.Right-hander Jorge Sosa was shipped to Atlanta in exchange for infielder Nick Green, a 26-year-old who can play second base, shortstop and third. The team also claimed outfielder Michael Restovich off waivers from the Twins. "We're going to continue to try and get this club better going into Monday's opener," said Chuck LaMar, the Devil Rays' general manager. "I'm excited about the moves we made [on Thursday]. And I'm sure we'll have some other discussions over the next couple of days." Green will help solidify a Tampa Bay infield that was weakened when Roberto Alomar retired on March 19. The trade "provides me an opportunity to play," Green said. "I guess that's better for me. "[Braves manager] Bobby Cox and [Braves general manager] John [Schuerholz] told me LaMar wants me to get a lot of at-bats. I'll find out what that means when I get over there." Playing mostly second base for the Braves in 2004 while Marcus Giles was hurt, Green hit .273 with three home runs and 26 RBIs in 95 games. Prior to his May 15, 2004, callup to Atlanta, Green was hitting .377 in 22 games at Triple-A Richmond. "I would never have been in this spot if not for last year," Green said. "If I didn't have the opportunity to play last year, those guys would have never seen what I can do and never wanted me." Green, who was the Braves' 32nd round selection in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, was hitting .304 with one home run and three RBIs this spring. "He's a gamer," said Schuerholz. "He's a guy whose teammates love him. He's a real pro. He'll get an opportunity to play a lot more now with Tampa Bay, and I think he'll respond to it and do well. I think he'll be an asset, as we believe Sosa will be to us." Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said the trade didn't change the status of second baseman Jorge Cantu. "On Opening Day, Cantu will play second," Piniella said. "We're going to let this kid get acclimated here. Everybody's going to get a chance to play." Sosa, 26, pitched in 103 games (41 starts) for the Devil Rays over the last three seasons, compiling an 11-26 record with a 5.17 ERA. Tampa Bay picked him up off waivers from the Brewers on March 18, 2002, following his selection in the Rule 5 Draft from the Mariners. This spring, he appeared in seven games and posted a 1-0 record with a 3.18 ERA. "I'm happy, because I'm going to have the opportunity to play for a contending team," Sosa said. "It's kind of sad at the same time. No, I didn't expect it." Restovich, 26, played in 61 games with the Twins over parts of the last three seasons. He hit .274 (31-for-113) with six doubles, two triples, three home runs and 11 RBIs. Restovich saw his most extensive action during the 2004 season, when he appeared in 29 games and batted .255. He also had 20 home runs and 62 RBIs in 106 games at Triple-A Rochester. Restovich hit .281 (16-for-57) with three doubles, two home runs and a team-high 10 RBIs this spring.
Bill Chastain is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.