Matt MooreThe Rays are awful and it is June. The Rays also have a lot of starting pitchers which means the big storyline over the next 8-10 weeks is going to be the will-they-won’t-they trade a strarting pitcher.

So far, the focus seems to be on Matt Moore and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe drops this little nugget from a source:

According to a major league source, the Rays aren’t interested in dealing any of their starting pitchers for a hitter, but they would listen on Moore in the type of deal that would bring back a major league player and a good minor league piece. The development of Blake Snell and the possible late-summer return of Alex Cobb are reasons the Rays could part with a starter.

Wait. What?

Let’s break this down since there appears to be two different, somewhat related things here:

“the Rays aren’t interested in dealing any of their starting pitchers for a hitter”

As maddening as this may be, this is pretty much par for the course for the Rays. Outside of nearly acquiring Jason Bay at the 2008 trade deadline, the Rays are not a team that trades up. That is, they are not dealing for pieces where the lone goal  is to help the team win this year. They just don’t do it.

They do make trades and they always like to spin it that the deal is good for the team now and the future. And then they talk about all the injured players they will be getting back and how those are just like trading for somebody without giving anything up. Except it seems like every year the Rays have 2-3 important guys on the DL missing months of action just so that the Rays can “trade for them” in July or August.

Which brings us to this…

“they would listen on Moore in the type of deal that would bring back a major league player and a good minor league piece”

First of all, the Rays will listen on any player on the roster, even Chris Archer. Another team probably can’t offer the Rays anything they would take for Archer, but the Rays don’t believe in untouchables.

Second of all, aren’t most hitters in the big leagues considered major league players? They won’t trade for a hitter, but they will trade for “a major league player”? This is not as double-speaky as it might sound.

What the source is really saying is that the Rays are not going to trade Moore for a big, game-changing bat, a player that would upgrade the offense significantly. Instead, they might take a young, solid role player who is cheap and under control for 4-5 years, and oh by the way, your top pitching prospect also. And that’s when the Rays turn and say, “hey look, it helps us now and in the future,” when in reality it does nothing now and it only really helps them in the future, until they make another trade that just keeps pushing the true potential of this franchise back another 2-3 years.

Remember, for all the talk of Alex Cobb coming back, he is only going to start 8-9 games, he will be on a pitch limit, and there is little guarantee he will be 100%. And some think he is going to get the Rays over the top? Stop.

But hey, I can’t wait to hear about how awesome this trade is going to be while I am watching the Rays lose another 5-2 game on the way to an 80-82 season.

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11 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    Stewie and company will run this franchise into the ground, then sell it and watch it relocate to whatever the MLB city of choice is at that point. I'm disgusted.

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  2. Giles says:

    The way things are going right now, 80-82 might be a bit of a reach.

    Such a frustrating season so far...I still believe if the starting pitching was anywhere near what was expected they would be a pretty good team.

    Probably my biggest concern though, beyond the starting pitching not living up to expectations, has been the defense. Miller and Conger especially. I understand giving up a bit of talent on defense for better offense production. However, I don't see much offense out of Conger and Miller's defense is so bad that the bat he provides doesn't make up for all of the costly errors.

    For so many years I believed the Rays were a special franchise as they appeared to be so cutting edge and ahead of the rest of the teams in brains and philosophy...that belief is being put to the test this season.

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  3. Gus says:

    Watching Smyly struggle reminded me of the lack of return for Price. But there is an overall lack of urgency in the franchise. For the first time I started wondering if Cash is in trouble. Not his fault but not sure he's helping either. Losing a high energy guy like Keirmayer hurts more when manager is low energy.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      Way too soon to be complaining about the lack of return for Price. Adames is raking in Double A as a 20 YO and Smyly has not been bad. Remember Price had less than a season and a half before hitting free agency.

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  4. Geoff Peterson says:

    A catcher might be nice, at least one that doesn't think 3rd base is 120 feet away.

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  5. Dave L says:

    These games are getting very difficult to watch in their entirety. Thank god for the DVR and FF through the particularly bleak moments which are all too often this year. Maybe that makes me a fair weather fan but I spent too many decades rooting futilely for hopeless teams.

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    • Rob says:

      Yeah, pretty painful. I've decided that the pitching issues are due to pitch selection. Archer had Cain 0-2 in the 1st tonight and threw him fastball over the middle and he punched it to right. That pitch should not have been anywhere near the zone.

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    • Rob says:

      BA just called the Rays "disinterested". At least the announcers are doing their jobs.

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  6. Bob says:

    Why not trade Moore to the Brewers for Jonathan Lucroy so we can finally have a true major league catcher? If we have to add Desmond Jennings or Tim Beckum to make the deal, do it.

    This move would give us at least 1.5 years of decent catching while our catching prospects develop.

    We could bring up Snell and the team would be much stronger.

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  7. Ken J says:

    Does Cash have an office or does he just report to the general manager's office after the game?

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  8. monte says:

    If the Rays want to trade Moore for value, they better quit pitching him. Every time he takes the mound his value goes down. This is not the pre-surgery Moore.

    Few starting pitchers today know they're allowed to go past the 5th or 6th inning. Few are capable of going beyond.

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