Matt MooreNow that the calendar has turned to July and the Rays can’t see the playoff race with a telescope, trade rumors are starting to heat up and it sounds like the Rays won’t wait until the deadline to start selling players.

Because of the relative dearth of starting pitchers that are expected to be available at both the deadline and during the offseason in free agency, the Rays have found themselves in prime position to control the market for starting pitchers. However, that could easily change as we get closer to the trade deadline as more teams fall out of the race and decide to sell pitchers. Therefore, if the Rays are going to move, it makes more sense to do it earlier, forcing teams to jump on available players, not knowing if others will be available later.

This is exactly what Rays consigliere Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Rays are aiming to do.

So it is not surprising that trade rumors involving Rays pitchers have spiked in the last few days.

Chris Archer

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Dodgers have been “sniffing hard on Archer,” but so far the Rays have said “no.” Rosenthal also noted that Archer’s contract is probably “too good” for the Rays to trade. Including options, the Rays still have 5 years at just $38.5 million left on Archer’s deal, a bargain even for a mediocre pitcher (which Archer is not).

Jake Odorizzi

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Rays have had talks with the Texas Rangers about Odorizzi in exchange for “a bat.” Bowden does not know who the Rays would want in return, but notes that they “are known to have interest in Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo and Lewis Brinson.” Bowden also says the two sides are not close to a deal but continue to talk.

Matt Moore

According to Marc Topkin, the Rangers and Kansas City Royals have been scouting Matt Moore as a potential trade target. But Moore says he “[doesn’t] feel like anything is going to happen, to be honest with you.” Topkin previously reported that the Rangers are “hot on Moore’s trail.”

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Moore is on the top of the list for several teams. In addition to the Rangers and Royals, five other teams are interested in Moore as a trade piece, including several from the AL East. That list includes the Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers.

Erasmo Ramirez

According to Ken Rosenthalthe Dodgers are interested in trading for Erasmo Ramirez to be a starting pitcher.

Just by the nature of the beast, the Tampa Bay Rays are always a big player at the trade deadline, whether they make moves or not. But in years past, the Rays have always walked that line of being both buyers and sellers as they tried to both stay in contention and make moves to keep the team viable and in contention for years to come.

But this year it is different.

This year the Rays are only walking the line between selling now or waiting until the offseason to sell later. But based on how the market has shaken out, it seems like now is the time to move and the Rays appear to be ready to do just that.

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4 Comments

  1. Pat says:

    Archer's deal may be a bargain, I can agree with that. But, he IS mediocre. No ace, not even a .500 career record.

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  2. Dave L says:

    The thinking about trading assets a smart GM has to think the opposite of a fan. The best value comes from trading the players playing good not bad.

    Archer is at the worst stretch of his career. if he got red hot between now and the deadline maybe but absent that we have 4 years to wait for him to improve his stock.

    Odorizzi still has 3 years of arbitration. If you are trading him you are likely burning down the barn and going for the bottom ala the Astros and trying to get real bad to get good again eventually. Thats not a crazy strategy but its not likely about trying to win in 2017.

    Moore is playing well has been through TJ so thats ruled out as a possibility so he is at his peak value so far. Three more years of control but at $7, $9 and $10M. If you think we can win in 2017 you don't trade him but if its 2019 and beyond more realistically we are shooting for then you do

    Erasmo may be back in the rotation next year for the Rays and he's in the same Arb situation as Jake. I don't think he brings much back at this point so roll the dice and keep him for a while at least.

    Cobb will be the one to watch because his last Arb is next year so we have root for him to at least finish the year strong so we can get the most for him in the offseason. Kind of perverse but sadly logical.

    Realistically there are too many holes to win in '17

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    • Drew says:

      I think we have a good outfield that doesn't need upgrading. The problems are the bullpen and catcher. You have to assume the starting rotation is going to pitch better at some point. But you are right: even with bullpen and catcher upgrades they are still a borderline playoff team next year.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      I think they will be open to trading any of the SP. Archer, Odorizzi, Smyly, Moore, Snell, Andriese, and Ramirez would be upgrades for many teams in the playoff hunt. The trade deadline is a great opportunity for teams to make win/win trades.

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