Tampa Bay Rays Trade Deadline Targets
With the trade deadline fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at what the Tampa Bay Rays will be looking for. The Rays currently hold the top wild card spot in the American League and have one of their better teams in recent years. So there is no doubt that the Rays need to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline.
Where Help is Needed
The first step for the Rays is figuring out what their weakest positions are and where they need the most help. For the Rays, this is easy, as they have struggled in the same position for many years now.
The bullpen is still in need of some help, especially in the closing department, as they do not have a go-to closer. The Rays have not had much trouble scoring runs but have not always been able to close it out.
Another talked about position of need for the team is the starting pitcher. Currently, the Rays use Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, Brendan McKay, and then a bullpen day (which is where teams will use relievers throughout the game). Therefore, they could use a fifth arm in the rotation, but it is not a prominent need.
The Rays also could look into adding some veteran leadership and playoff experience to the team. With the sixth-youngest team in the MLB, they do not have many players with World Series experience. Having a guy who does could make or break this team when it comes to the playoffs.
With the Rays doing as well as they are, why not take a shot at one of the big fish? There are a few star names out there, and if the opportunity presents itself, the Rays could go all-in.
This left-handed pitcher will be a hot asset at the deadline, and the Rays should take a look. Smith owns a 2.17 ERA and has 23 saves on the season. Smith could fit nicely into that closer role for the Rays and would also add a little bit of experience to the team.
With a 1.45 ERA and 53 strikeouts, Giles could be a great addition to the Rays Bullpen. However, trading within the division is always a cause for concern, but the Rays should still take a look.
With a 3.19 ERA, the veteran righty could make a quick impact in the Rays bullpen. He is also a guy who could potentially fit into that closer role for the Rays. While not the best player on this list, he is still a viable arm to take a look at.
Hand and Smith are probably the best options for the Rays, but Hand could be a tad more expensive. With a 2.17 ERA, 23 saves, and just one blown save, Hand is another arm that could easily take over that closing role the Rays need.
Veteran Leader — Curtis Granderson
As crazy as it may seem, Granderson could be a great addition to the team. With a team of so many young players and so little playoff experience, it is very important to have a guy like this. Granderson offers leadership and playoff experience to help shape some of the young minds on this team. Many underestimate the need for this role and Granderson is the complete package when it comes to this. Granderson could also play a depth role for the Rays outfield as they only have five active outfielders. Only the Texas Rangers have less with four.
Big Fish? — Anthony Rendon
Now, this is an absolute shot in the dark, but, as mentioned, the Rays are having one of their best seasons, so why not try to go all-in if the opportunity presents itself? Rendon is the Washington Nationals star third baseman who has yet to sign an extension. Some experts are wondering if the Nationals would look to move him if they believe they won’t be able to get a deal done soon. For the Rays, this could be the big piece that takes them deep into the postseason, as he has a batting average of .304 and 20 home runs. Again, this would take a lot to pull off, but no one ever got hurt for speculating.
Bumgarner has been rumored to be on the trading block and would be a big addition to any team. However, as mentioned before, the Rays don’t necessarily need a starting pitcher. If the opportunity does present itself the Rays could add him into the rotation. By doing so, the Rays could then move some of their other arms that are normally used on a bullpen day back into the reliever rotation. This is a move that should only be made if the price is right.
The Rays have a real shot to prove themselves as contenders this year, and they can prove it at the deadline. The Rays should absolutely be looking into some relievers, and while they might not need the likes of Bumgarner and Rendon, they could be crazy prizes that just might put them over the top. Nevertheless, the Rays will be looking to make a splash this year at the trade deadline.
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