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Marlins trade away Escobar to Rays

(Reuters) - The Miami Marlins continued an off-season of cost-cutting by trading away recently acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

Escobar was signed last month in a 12-player deal that sent Miami players Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto.

However, the six-year player with a .282 career batting average has now been quickly shipped to the Rays in exchange for a minor leaguer.

After moving to Miami and unveiling a new stadium and manager, the Marlins entered the 2012 season with much excitement but it ended in disarray as they finished last in the National League East and fired manager Ozzie Guillen.

The Marlins have focused on saving money this off-season and their recent moves have wiped more than $150 million from their payroll.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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