The Tampa Bay Rays made headline after headline on Monday, as they won the trading deadline.
What a season for the Rays, huh? Heading into the year, there were expectations that they may hang around the middle of the American League East. The club has had rough patches, but that is due to the youthfulness of the team. Now, this team has stayed competitive against the best in the league. Southpaw Blake Snell has broken out as the Rays ace, and was basically snubbed from the All-Star game.
Infielder Daniel Robertson has come out of his shell, and the overall offense is thriving. “The opener” is a frequent topic of discussion also when people talk about Tampa. This club was just playing out the year and letting it’s young guys develop, and there are several new faces. The front office did a great job acquiring talent before the deadline came up.
One of the shock trades was for outfielder Tommy Pham. He posted a 6.1 WAR last season, and he showed what his ability was when the opportunity arose. The Rays only gave up 3 low level prospects to get him, and Tampa also got international slot money too. Pham hasn’t been the same player, but he is still an everyday regular and cheap for the next three seasons. Pham and his former club were having a disconnect contract wise, so that was the precursor for a trade. The outfielder can be slotted right into the lineup and contribute.
The Rays sent injured backstop Wilson Ramos to the Philadelphia Phillies for a PTBNL, and that player won’t be a throw in guy. Ramos has had a career year, mashing 14 homers while hitting .297 in 315 at bats. Tampa won’t get a top-5 prospect back, but they should acquire a player in the top 15-20. The catcher is a free agent after the season, and he will provide a veteran presence behind the plate for the young pitching staff.
Now the biggest trade was the Chris Archer deal. The Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington has shown interest in Archer for several years now, and he finally acquires him, albeit the high cost. The Rays were able to get back high ceiling right hander Tyler Glasnow, as well as possible star outfielder Austin Meadows. The club is also getting a PTBNL at some point. This was a win-win for both sides, as the Pirates got a controllable starter for cheap, and the Rays got two major league ready guys who can contribute now and be possible stars later.
Overall, the Rays won the trade deadline because they acquired plenty of talent to help them now and in the future. They won all the trades they were in, and the club looks exciting to watch with all the new pieces. As a small market club, Rays fans are accustomed to popular faces being traded and a lot of change. This time it seems different, as their lineup looks complete after this makeover. Also, the Rays now have several intriguing arms such as Glasnow, Honeywell, Anthony Banda, De Leon, and Snell.