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Devil Rays, Diamondbacks Make Picks

November 18, 1997

PHOENIX (AP) _ Tony Saunders of the Florida Marlins was taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday as the first pick in baseball’s expansion draft.

The 23-year-old left-hander was 4-6 with a 4.61 ERA last season.

Arizona then took Cleveland left-hander Brian Anderson with the second pick. Anderson, 25, was 4-2 with a 4.69 ERA for the Indians last season in eight starts after going 7-1 with a 3.05 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo. He had one save in the World Series against Florida, making three appearances.

The Diamondbacks, who also had the third pick because they declined the No. 1 selection, then drafted 22-year-old right-hander Jeff Suppan, who went 7-3 with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance for Boston.

Tampa Bay used pick No. 4 for Colorado’s Quinton McCracken. The 27-year-old outfielder hit .292 last season with three homers and 36 RBIs in 325 at-bats.

Arizona used the fifth pick on San Diego’s Gabriel Alvarez. The 23-year-old third baseman hit .300 this year at Double-A Memphis of the Southern League with 14 homers and 78 RBIs.

Tampa Bay then selected Houston outfielder Bob Abreu, who was the Astros’ opening-day outfielder. Abreu, 23, struggled in the majors, hitting .250 with 26 RBIs in 188 at-bats, shuttling between the Astros and the minors.

Chicago White Sox catcher Jorge Fabregas was taken by Arizona with the seventh pick. Fabregas, 27, was traded by Anaheim with pitcher Chuck McElroy on May 18 for catcher Chad Reuter and outfielder Tony Phillips. Fabregas wound up hitting .258 with seven homers and 51 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs second baseman Miguel Cairo then went to Tampa Bay. Cairo, 23, had just 29 at-bats in the majors last season. He hit .279 with 46 RBIs and 40 steals at Triple-A Iowa.

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