The MLB Trade Deadline is now less than five hours away, and the Rays are about to do something. What is happening? At this point, we really don’t know. A few minutes ago, we discussed how the Rays might do a contender-to-contender trade of Kelly Johnson, Matt Joyce, or Sean Rodriguez, a move that may seem like selling but would in reality be a chance for the Rays to get future value and lose negligible value from their major league roster if the right offer came along. But what if the Rays are instead using at least one of those three as part of a blockbuster trade? In lieu of any actual information, let’s look at the players in the trade rumors and see who could be a posible fit.
Cliff Lee: Lee just makes too much money. It isn’t happening even if the Rays were willing to deal big-time prospects, which they’re probably not.
Alex Rios: At least we’re talking something semi-feasible, but no. He only has a 101 OPS+ this year and is signed for next year at $13 million if he’s traded. Rios would be the highest-paid player on the team and maybe the 12th or 13th best.
Ian Kennedy: The Rays just faced him and he was mediocre, but more importantly, he’s not that great and made $4,265,000 his first time through arbitration. No chance.
Nate Schierholtz: He’s an older version of Joyce making less money. It would be funny to swap the two, but it would be extremely surprising if it happened.
David DeJesus: He’s having a nice year, but he wouldn’t add anything to the Rays outfield.
Bud Norris: There’s a mystery team going after Norris. Is there any chance it’s the Rays? The chances are extremely small, but I don’t think it would be the craziest thing in the world. If the Rays didn’t like Alex Cobb‘s prognosis and were willing to trade some of their Triple-A arms (Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome), they could make the deal happen. That being said, the chances of this happening are about one in a million.
Mike Morse: Morse would give the Rays a big right-handed bat, but where do you put him? The most reasonable trade would be something like a Morse for Johnson swap, but the Mariners aren’t contending.
Howie Kendrick: He can play second base, first base, and the outfield, he’s signed for the next two years at $18.85 million, not the highest salary in the entire world, and he’s having a really nice year. He’s not the worst fit for the Rays. But I don’t think Joyce, Rodriguez, and Johnson would be very appealing for the non-contending Angels unless they have completely lost their minds, and I doubt the Rays would give up top prospects for Kendrick.
That’s all the names I can think of off the top of my head. If the Rays are acquiring a big name, who could it possibly be? We’re just giong to have to wait and see.