Rays History

Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals Intertwined History

By Kasey Kuhrts
Brett Phillips Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Brett Phillips Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The first trade of note happened back in 2001 when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays jumped in on a three-team trade with the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s. In the deal the Devil Rays only acquired one player, former #2 overall pick pick Ben Grieve.

Grieve would go on to spend three seasons with the Devil Rays, his best being in 2002 when he hit 19 home runs with a .251 average.

Leaving the Devil Rays in the deal were veterans Roberto Hernandez, who went to the Royals, and the late Cory Lidle, who went to the A’s. What is interesting about the deal is what the Royals and A’s received.

The Royals received AJ Hinch, ever heard of him? And Angel Berroa from the A’s. Berroa isn’t a big name, but went on to play 627 games with the Royals over seven seasons.

Oakland however won this deal. They acquired Mark Ellis from the Royals, who went on to play 1,056 games with the A’s, and racked up 1,015 career hits, 86 home runs, and 550 RBI’s with Oakland. The A’s also received someone Tampa Bay Rays fans should remember, Johnny Damon.

Damon was 27 at the time, and only spent one season in Oakland before heading to Boston.

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