Tampa Bay Rays Trade Deadline Review

Rays Deadline
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 22: Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a double in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on July 22, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Rays Trade Deadline Review

The Trade Deadline has come and passed, and teams have made their stances. The Tampa Bay Rays made a few moves at the deadline, and many fans are wondering how the moves have affected their playoff chances. Let’s look at each of the Rays Trade Deadline deals and how much better it made them, both now and in the future.

Deals before the Deadline

Before deadline day even began, the Rays made a few minor moves. While small, they are still significant in how they change the Rays roster. Overall, the Rays did well before the deadline, picking up a solid prospect and a great utility player.

Wood, Arroyo for Cardenas

The Rays’ first move surprised a few as Hunter Wood and Christian Arroyo are not small names. Wood owned a 2.48 ERA this year with 24 strikeouts. While Wood has a nice ERA, he never played a significant role for the Rays. He typically only pitched a total of one or two innings per game, so his loss isn’t as substantial, since other pitchers can fill this gap. As for Arroyo, he had a lot of potential but was never able to stay consistent. In the three years he played in the majors, Arroyo batted .192, .264, and .220. Arroyo also started dealing with some injuries that kept him out of the game.

The Rays got Ruben Cardenas, a solid young prospect, in return. While only in Class A, he is batting .291 with 10 home runs and 85 RBI. He is a solid young prospect that adds depth to the outfield.

Two Players to Be Named Later for Sogard

During their series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rays acquired utility player Eric Sogard. With the Jays in 2019, Sogard batted .300 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. These are some solid numbers, and it’s not the first time Sogard has put them up. However, the most important part about Sogard is his utility. He can play third base, shortstop, and second base giving the rays options should they run into any injuries.

This was a solid pickup for the Rays and only adds to their depth. Sogard has already knocked in a run in his first game with the Rays. He should continue to do so as the Rays look to make a playoff push.

Deadline Day

The Rays still had a few needs they needed to fill at the deadline. The Rays did make a few good moves but was it enough? There are still a few pieces missing for the rays, and while they made no significant moves, it has some fans a little worried.

Faria for Aguilar

Perhaps the best move the Rays made is when they sent Jake Faria to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jesus Aguilar. While Faria was a solid pitcher, he had struggled recently. Faria owned a 4.18 ERA with 145 strikeouts. But his ERA wasn’t the problem. As noted on one of the Rays broadcasts, Faria was sent down to work on his location.

Aguilar is a solid first baseman but, most importantly, brings the power. Last year Aguilar hit 35 home runs with a .274 batting average. And while he is not near these numbers this year, he is quickly heating up. In July, Aguilar is batting .298 with three home runs and eight RBI. This is a solid trade for the Rays, as they pick up a much-needed right-handed bat.

Kolarek for Hulsizer

The Rays then made more of a minor deal when they dealt Adam Kolarek for Niko Hulsizer. Kolarek struggled with the Rays over his three years. He racked up a 4.19 ERA with 59 strikeouts — nothing exciting. Kolarek’s biggest problem was in his home runs and walks allowed. This year he let up six home runs and 14 walks.

Hulsizer is an average outfielder who has a career batting average of .271 in the minors. He does have some power with 29 home runs. Hulsizer is likely a depth move and does not add too much to the Rays. He does make them a little better in the outfield as far as the farm system is concerned.

Lopez for McCarthy, Gale for Cash Considerations

The Rays then made a minor league deal, sending Joe McCarthy to the San Francisco Giants for Jacob Lopez. McCarthy is a solid left fielder who had a career batting average of .267. However, McCarthy struggled this year in Triple A, batting .196.

Lopez is a young starting pitcher who has a career ERA of 2.42. He is currently in Class A but has a bright future ahead of him. This move upgraded the Rays pitching farm. It’s great for the future but does not address the present-day bullpen issue.

The Rays then acquired catcher Rocky Gale from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. This was purely a depth deal for the Rays; Gale is 31 years old with a career batting average of .108. Gale excels in keeping balls in front of him, with zero passed balls in his career.

Stanek, Sanchez for Anderson, Richards

In their final deal of the day, the Rays received pitchers Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards for Ryne Stanek and Jesus Sanchez. Stanek was the opener for the Rays but was recently sent down due to injury. He has a 3.40 ERA on the season over 55 2/3 innings. The reality for Stanek is the Rays have other guys who can fill the opener role, and he was the guy to help make this deal work, so this is not a major loss for the Rays.

As for Sanchez, he was a solid right field prospect who played in both Triple A and Double A this season. Sanchez was batting .298 over his career with 46 home runs and 295 RBI. He is a solid prospect that was a bummer to give up; however, how the players coming in return pan out will determine if it was worth it.

Anderson is playing his first year in the majors and has a 3.92 ERA. While this is not the best ERA, Anderson could work out nicely for the Rays. Front office executive Erik Neander raved about Anderson, according to Marc Topkin. He said he could be great for the Rays in the latter parts of the game. This checks out, too, as Anderson is in the top three percent of the league for strikeouts. If Anderson can continue the strikeouts for even a few innings, he could be the late reliever the Rays have been looking for.

Richards is another story. This is his second year in the majors, and he owns a 4.50 ERA this season. He will more than likely be used to help fill in the starting pitcher role with Blake Snell still out. However, he will need to improve if he wants to make any kind of impact. A new environment can do a lot for a player, but we will have to wait and see how this one plays out.

Overall

The Rays had a busy day dealing multiple players. At the end of the day, the Rays picked up some decent prospects and got a power hitter from the right side. This is all good; however, the Rays did not address the bullpen in a major way. While Anderson could be an excellent reliever for the Rays, he is only one guy, and the Rays moved a few other pieces. There were plenty of other big-name relievers the Rays did not go after.

The Rays got a little better now, but it’s unclear if it will be enough to secure a Wild Card spot. The Rays have not been this much of a buyer in recent years, so this is a good change of pace for the Rays. If their newly acquired players, mainly Anderson and Richards, can step up, the Rays will be looking good for the postseason.

This author gives the Rays a B- rating on the trade deadline. Rays fans should be excited for some of these new players mentioned above, but only time will tell if it is enough.

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