The non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching, and is now only a week away. Naturally, the Rays, much like any other team that has designs on the playoffs, will likely be the subject of trade rumors up until that point. Already, the Rays had been connected to first basemen such as Justin Morneau and Kendrys Morales, even though there really isn’t any room for either player at this point, particularly with the way James Loney and Luke Scott have been playing. Joe Maddon even made a point to state that he feels the team, as presently constituted, should be good enough to contend.
“I’m good with what we’ve got,” Maddon said. “With good health, I think we’re fine.”
To expect the Rays to make a splash at the deadline would like be foolhardy. Since 2008, the Rays have made two deals at or near the deadline to improve their club heading towards the postseason: purchasing Chad Bradford from the Orioles in 2009, and trading for Ryan Roberts in 2012. Neither of these trades would exactly be counted amongst the blockbuster deals of the past few years.
Another reason why it may be unlikely that the Rays would do anything at the deadline is that they do not really have any major holes. The rotation struggled early in the year, but David Price returning from the disabled list has certainly helped. Alex Cobb is expected to be back shortly after the deadline, and would likely improve the rotation more than any starter on the market. Wil Myers stepped in since his callup to provide another power bat that the Rays needed in their lineup.
One potential area where the Rays could look for help is in the bullpen, but there are options internally there as well. Brandon Gomes began a rehab assignment on Thursday, and may be ready to go by the end of the month. Josh Lueke has been decent in his opportunities with the Rays this year, and is completely dominating at Durham, sporting a 0.63 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 43 innings. Then there are other options, such as Alex Colome or whoever gets bumped from the rotation when Cobb returns.
Typically, the trade deadline is fairly quiet for the Tampa Bay Rays. Considering the general lack of holes on the squad, coupled with the recent run of success, this year is not likely to be any different.