Tim Beckham

With Asdrubal Cabrera now a free agent and unlikely to re-sign with the Rays, it looked like Tim Beckham might finally have a shot to win the shortstop job, something he was drafted to do when the Rays used the first pick of the draft on him seven years ago.

But those hopes took a big hit on Thursday.

That’s when the Rays announced a 6-player trade, sending Nate Karns, CJ Riefenhauser, and Boog Powell to the Seattle Mariners. The key player the Rays’ received in return was Brad Miller.

Miller is a natural shortstop. But while he can play second base, third base, and the outfield, and would seem to fit the idea of being a Rays’ utility player, you don’t trade a legit big-league starting pitcher and two other players for a reliever, a no-bat first baseman, and a utility player, unless you at least think that the utility player be your most-days shortstop.

Matt Silverman seemed to confirm this when speaking with the media, with Marc Topkin writing:

Silverman said the Rays see him as “someone who can play shortstop at the major-league level,” with the versatility a secondary bonus … “We’ve liked him for a while. We’ve been impressed by his work at shortstop, and it’s always a plus to have a left-handed-hitting middle infielder,” Silverman said.

Beckham played in 82 games for the Rays last year, and started 22 games at shortstop. Even with Miller around, Beckham will get some shots there next season. But chances are it won’t be much more than this year.

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6 Comments

  1. Geoff Peterson says:

    I think you'll see a platoon at SS with Beckham and Miller, Forsythe at 2nd, Longo at 3rd, and Loney at 1st with Shaffer subbing for Loney or Longo as needed. Morrison will DH and can play OF or 1st in spot starts. Things could change if they decide to move Loney.

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    • Dave L says:

      This is a good point.

      We are getting two LH bats with good splits 2015 versus RHP

      With 17 and 13 HR respectively ALL versus righties. The Mariners didnt really platoon Logan at all with 41 starts versus lefties versus over 100 against righties so they threw him to the wolves against lefties and the killed him and his OPS splits were .767 vs .500.

      Miller they platooned barely with 20% of his starts versus lefties and they killed him too. His splits were more dramatic like .813 versus .513

      So if you are a lefty platoon guy you still get 70% of the starts. M's are pretty oldschool the Rays will Matt Joyce both these guys and thier overall number should improve.

      This gives Shaffer time to develop as he starts vs the lefties and whoever doesn't suck the most between Beckham and Franklin soaks up the starts for .Miller vs southpaws.

      Both Mariners were -1.5 dWAR for 2015 so that could mean they aren't very great defenders. I would have to get more information to form am opinion. dWAR is kind of suspect stat but I thought I would start there on day one of the trade.

      As someone mentioned Safeco is not a HR park so 17 and 14 translates well at the Trop

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      • originaltom says:

        Just looking at the numbers for miller his defense was slightly below average at short but terrible in the outfield. If he can be an average hitter with slightly bow D at short that is pretty valuable.

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        • Dave L says:

          Well at the very least he's an upgrade offensively and defensively over any scary combo of Beckham/Franklin and would get zero time in the outfield as the outfield is a Rays strength relatively speaking defensively at least.

          I think all the talk of trading Jennings is premature. Talk about selling low! Unless the Rays think he will never play again due to chronic injuries they might as well take a shot.

          Look at his last completely healthy 2 years his offensive numbers arent that bad and his arb number can't be that much after producing nothing for 2 years.

          I'll take my chances with a recovering Desmond over some flunky like Nava any day.

          If we have to platoon 1st and SS, two everyday positions in 2014, the DH only position of a Jaso is a luxury the Rays can't afford.

          But hell its early so who knows

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  2. Gus says:

    Forget Beckham, this is terrible news for Nick Franklin; he's the odd man out and his Rays career would appear to be over.

    Price trade not exactly a bonanza in the early returns.

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  3. mep645 says:

    Tim Beckham has had 7 years to get MLB ready and he still isn't. Time to wave goodbye. His recent September HRs didn't make up for errors in judgment as shortstop and just plain errors. Another horrible scouting mistake. We could have had Buster Posey!

    Both Tim Beckham and Wil Myers had great high school level numbers that really weren't as good as it sounded since both went to private schools and not public schools where they would have been exposed to a lot more difficult and diverse teams to play. Big fish little pond didn't work.

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