Making the move that Chuck Lamar should have made last year, the Devil Rays have finally unloaded Aubrey Huff, a player who was highly unlikely to be a part of their next contending team (and their first, as it is).
The D'Rays picked up a couple of interesting prospects, SS Ben Zobrist and SP Mitch Talbot. Zobrist has a wonderful eye (.434 OBP this year in Corpus Christi, .438 OBP as a minor leaguer before this season), but without being a significant longball threat, it remains to be seen whether or not that on-base ability will be sustainable in the majors. He's also old for AA, but my guess is that he can certainly smack a bunch of singles and doubles around the yard in the bigs and probably be an adequate middle infielder. Talbot has impeccable peripherals and John Sickels had him as a breakout candidate for the last couple of years. It might have happened this year. In 90.1 innings, he's fanned 96, walked only 29, and given up only 4 homers. I'm a little worried about the 94 hits (that suggests a high BABIP), but he's certainly worth a flyer in a deal like this.
Both of these guys are statistically intriguing, to say the least, although neither is a top-flight prospect.
As for Huff, his .283/.348/.461 line looks conspicuously like his career line of .287/.343/.477. Huff has also generally been stronger in the second half than in the first half, but we'll see if that holds this year. He's an above average hitter who might be worth a win or two over Lane, and, in what seems destined to be a tight division down the stretch, that would certainly give the Astros a boost.
Solid trade on both ends here: Houston adds a much, much needed bat (who slides into the OF, I assume, in place of Lane), and Tampa takes in a couple of guys who may be of use to them.