There is less than one week until the trade deadline and the Rays have become one of the most fascinating teams to follow. In any other division or league they would be serious contenders, but alas, it looks like the Rays will be subtracting instead of adding. The great writers over at FanSided’s general MLB site, Call to the Pen has been staying on top of all the rumors and today the Lead Writer Blaine Boltz mentioned two Rays that could be traded.
Randi Owens mentioned last weekend about the chances of James Shields becoming a Yankee, which of course is zero. That doesn’t mean he won’t be traded. I’d hate to see him go as much as any other Rays fan. However, I would be in favor of it if it meant that the Rays were helping out one of their other weaknesses. Even though the Rays have him under their control for the next few years, his value may never be higher than it is right now. At this point next season, Shields may very well be the fifth or sixth best starter in the rotation and there is no shortage of starters ready to come up from the minor leagues, including Alex Cobb, Matt More and Alexander Torres. If Shields does stick around, he will become the first Rays starting pitcher age 30 or older since 2007.
Kyle Farnsworth could also be dealt which would signal to me a waving of the white flag more than any other move. Farnsworth, signed to a one year deal in the offseason, was essentially brought in to be traded if he developed some value. He certainly has and I’m sure there will be many teams inquiring about him. Unfortunately for the 2011 Rays, they would be trading from a weakness (unlike possible deals involving Shields or B.J. Upton) and there’s no telling how bad the bullpen could be by the end of the year with the unofficial closer out of the mix.