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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Marlins trade Yunel Escobar across state to Rays

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Yunel Escobar's stay with the Miami Marlins lasted all of two weeks.

The payroll-slashing Marlins dealt the shortstop and his $5 million salary across Florida to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night for minor league infielder Derek Dietrich.

Escobar's departure lowers the Marlins' projected opening-day payroll to a major league-low $38 million, which includes $4.5 million owed Toronto next year, $1.5 million due to Arizona in 2013 as part of the Heath Bell trade and $1 million for a prorated share of Bell's signing bonus.

Combined with the Toronto trade, the Marlins have pared $151.5 million in payroll from their books, just two months after finishing their first season in a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.

Acquired in the 12-player trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto on Nov. 19, the 30-year-old Escobar batted .253 last season with nine homers and 51 RBIs.

Escobar is a .282 career hitter in six major league seasons with 53 homers and 298 RBIs for Atlanta (2007-10) and Toronto (2010-12). He was suspended for three games in September for wearing eye black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish during a game against Boston.

The 23-year-old Dietrich, a second-round draft pick in 2010, was selected MVP of Class-A Charlotte this year, batting .282 with a team-high 10 homers and 58 RBIs. He was promoted to Double-A Montgomery on July 28 and finished with a combined .279 average with 14 homers and 75 RBIs.