Kids take alot of time. Totally worth it…
So what will the Rays do as the trade deadline looms?
It seems that the Tampa Bay franchise is best when it avoids the big deal at the deadline. The deals that make this team what is has been for the last four years or so are the deals that go unnoticed by the MLB public at large. The Rays will likely end up picking up a guy off the waiver list and stand pat with what they have.
But, just in case…
WHO IS LIKELY GOING?
BJ Upton has already called the trade rumors about him “comical.” It’s true. A trade rumor about BJ is like all of the foreclosed houses in the area–omnipresent and depressing.
He’s a big talent, of course. But he hasn’t utilized that talent at all, which makes him expendable. Plus, he’s apt to make about $7 million in arbitration next year.
That REALLY makes him expendable.
The best rumor I’ve heard is that he would go to the Nationals (they are doing things right in DC, aren’t they?) for their SS Ian Desmond and a catcher. I’m a big fan of Desmond–of his speed, his power, and his youth. Not many teams have strength at the SS position, so brining him to St. Pete would be great.
Let’s not forget that the Rays have Desmond Jennings, who is hitting .500 right now, primed to take BJ’s place.
Oooooo, things do not look good for the underachieving Upton.
James Shields has had a TON of rumors about him. The Reds seem to be the frontrunners in the “Big Game” sweepstakes. However, I do not see the Rays, a team who is so shrewd when it comes to storing pitching, moving him. His price next season will be $7 million, just like BJ, but that money for a solid #2 pitcher is much smarter to use than on a center fielder.
JP Howell has made a nice comeback from Tommy John surgery a few years ago, but he is not all the way back. Nevertheless, there are suitors for the left-handed reliever. They say that the Royals might want him back, but who wouldn’t want a strong lefty with a wicked curve in their bullpen?
LIKELIHOOD: Could Happen
Kyle Farnsworth has had a renaissance this season, becoming the closer the Rays thought they had lost when Rafael Soriano left town for the New York Yankees last season. He would fetch a pretty penny on the market. With the Rays falling out of the race, they can afford to experiment in the closer department. Since Farnsie would ask for much more money next season, the Rays likely would not be able to afford him. So…
The bottom line is that the Rays listen to deals on all of its players. Jeremy Hellickson has been mentioned in trades, but there is no way he’s going anywhere. That doesn’t mean the Rays won’t listen.
Tomorrow will be a big day. 4 pm Eastern Time is the drop dead time, and it will be fun to guess about who is going where. Unfortunately, for Rays fans, anyway, no matter what deals are done they will not lead to October.
But next season, who knows…
As many of you know, I have been pretty incommunicato this week due to a week of sipping cocktails poolside in Orlando.
It’s been a good week.
I wanted to say alot about the upcoming trade deadline, but it has been difficult to find the time, obviously.
However, I do have some ideas of who might be coming to the Rays, who might be leaving the Rays, and who will be staying with the Rays.
–With the rumor that the Yanks are near a deal to acquire Lance Berkman, I would say that the Rays have become the frontrunners for picking up slugger Adam Dunn. They could do worse, for sure. But I am not sure I would like to see the Rays give up players for a guy who will be here only for these final few months and more more. That said, his incredible walk numbers, batting average, and power numbers will be a welcome addition to the DH slot.
Honestly, there is not alot of talk about who the Rays might try to pick up. The front office has been very quiet on the subject. I think that the Rays could use a stronger DH, surely, but a stronger 5th starter and another bullpen guy (never have enough of those) would strengthen this team as well.
–Minor league pitcher Jake McGee will more than likely be moving on. He has great talent, but it still not 100% after arm injuries. He is young, and will likely recover completely, which makes him valuable as a future ‘pen guy or bottom of the rotation guy, a la Wade Davis.
—Reid Brignac has done great things for the Rays this year. His power surge as of late has really lifted this team. But he is a man without a country. Or a position, anyway. He is a middle infielder in an organization full of ’em. Jason Bartlett is too beloved by the Rays management to go anywhere. Sean Rodriguez is the future 2b of the Rays (though he is kind of the present-day 2b of the Rays as well). Brignac does not fit in. He will somewhere else.
–This might be a longshot, but Wade Davis might be moved. If he can bring in a solid bat, he will certainly be moved with the pitching depth the Rays have in the minors.
—Jeremy Hellickson will be moved when hell freezes over. ‘Nuff said.
—Jason Bartlett ain’t goin’ anywhere. His arrival catapulted the Rays to the playoffs in 2008. They expect a return to form in these final months.
–Minor league veteran Dan Johnson might lead the International League in slugging numbers, but that just makes him more valuable as a late-season callup for the Rays than a bargaining chip. Plus, after Carlos Pena’s departure next season, he might inherit the 1b job.
It’s late, but I wanted to get some thoughts down before the trades start a-flyin’. I’m returning from poolside soon and I can’t wait to see what the Blogosphere’s intrepid writers have to say on the subject of the tradewinds.