Twins, Rays Make 6-Player trade

"He's ready to roll. That's what I like to hear. He made me feel at home, and all I can feel is that things are pointed on the up and up," Garza said from his home in Fresno, Calif. "It'll be fun to see how it plays out."

Upset by his exclusion from the Opening Day roster in the spring, Garza threw 15 straight scoreless innings after he was promoted from Triple-A this year. He also made 10 appearances for Minnesota in 2006.

Friedman expects Bartlett to be the Opening Day shortstop and Garza to fit nicely next to Scott Kazmir and James Shields, two other young starters. The other two spots in the rotation will be open to competition in spring training.

"The trade is about the present, not the future. We're a better ballclub because of this deal," Friedman said. "To get good young players you have to give up something good, and that's what we did."

Garza was Minnesota's first-round draft pick in 2005, and the hard-throwing righty out of Fresno State breezed through the minors to earn time with the Twins the following season.

His velocity reaches the mid-90 mph range, but the 24-year-old has frustrated his coaches and managers the past two years by relying too much on his fastball without mixing in enough off-speed and breaking pitches to be effective in the majors.

He is 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA in 26 appearances -- including 24 starts -- with the Twins. He has issued 55 walks in 133 innings, and opponents have hit .297 against him.

The good news for Garza is that Tampa Bay plays at Minnesota only twice in 2008, April 16-17. He is 1-10 with a 5.91 ERA in 13 career appearances at the Metrodome.

The Bartlett-for-Harris shortstop section of the swap gives the Twins a 27-year-old in exchange for a 28-year-old. In his first full season as a starter, Harris hit .286 with 12 homers, 35 doubles and 59 RBIs in 521 at-bats. From 2004-06, he played for three teams: the Cubs, Expos/Nationals and Reds.

"You've got to produce," Harris said. "It's an offensive game now. Everybody's got to pull their weight at the dish. At the same time, I view myself as a solid defensive player."

Bartlett was a late bloomer who finally became a regular when he was called up in June 2006. He gave the lineup a legitimate spark that year and batted .309 in 333 at-bats for a playoff-bound team. Like many of the Twins, though, he slumped in 2007 and finished with a .265 average, five homers, 43 RBIs and 23 steals in 510 at-bats. He made 26 errors. Harris had only 11 errors last season.

Pridie, a center fielder, was taken by the Twins in the 2005 winter meeting draft. When he didn't make the team out of spring training he was returned to Tampa Bay and spent the past two seasons in the minors.

Friedman called the right-handed Morlan "one of the best young bullpen prospects out there."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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