ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Two A.L. East rivals pulled off an unprecedented trade this week, with Toronto shipping its “Blue” off to Tampa Bay in exchange for the recently inactivated “Devil”.  The partial nickname swap, believed to be the first of its kind in pro sports history, should provide boosts to both clubs in areas in which they have been sorely lacking.

“When you are in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox, there is always the danger of being bullied right out of contention,” said Toronto G.M. J.P. Ricciardi.  “We felt that bringing in the Devil gave us some much needed street cred.  Hopefully invoking the Dark Lord and his “win-at-all-costs” credo will provide a real jump to our struggling offence, which in turn will take some of the ‘heat’ off of [Jays' hitting coach Gary] Denbo.”  Ricciardi added, “[t]hat was a pun I just made there.”

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The new Devil Jays' logo, designed by contest winner Amelia Boucher, 6, of Fonthill, Ontario

“The deal made perfect sense for us,” said Tampa Bay’s Executive V.P. of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.  “I mean, we weren’t using the ‘Devil’ anyway.  And the revenue stream from our licensing agreement with Sony will go a long way towards offsetting our anemic attendance and our team’s imminent implosion.  Let’s face it, no one expects us to actually win this division, least of all me.  So we’ve got to scrape up the dollars wherever we can.  Say, this is off the record, right?”

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News of the move quickly spread around the league, and other teams may be following suit.  Cleveland owner Larry Dolan has announced that, in an effort to “clear up any lingering doubt as to whether our nickname is meant to offend”, he intends to aggressively pursue Boston’s “Red”.  The rumoured deal would see the Indians offer ace C.C. Sabathia, along with fourteen crates of blankets.