Rays Notes: Brandon Allen to Japan, Trade Rumors That Don’t Always Make Sense

By Robbie Knopf

Rays nation got a shock through its system on Friday. No, James Shields and B.J. Upton were not traded. Something happened just completely out of nowhere. The Rays traded Triple-A outfielder and first baseman Brandon Allen to a team in Japan.

Roger Mooney and others reported that the team was the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Allen had posted a .260/.316/.445 line for Rays minor league affiliates with 6 home runs, and we’ll certainly remember him for his walk-off home run against the Angels during his brief time with the Rays. Good luck to Allen moving forward.

Back to rumors. Ken Rosenthal wrote how the Angels, Rangers, Braves, and Dodgers are all interested on some level despite his struggles this season, and we’ll have to see whether such a trade happens.

Fine, those rumors make some sense. All those teams need pitching, and pitching is one of the Rays’ strengths. But Jim Bowden talked about a trade that “makes sense” on ESPN Insider, and it does not, in fact, make sense. He suggested that the Rays trade James Shields and B.J. Upton to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Craig Gentry, right-handed pitching prospects Cody Buckel and Luke Jackson, and outfield prospect Leury Garcia. The problem: none of the prospects in question are elite and Gentry is 28 years old. And the Rays don’t get a catcher. Other than that, it makes perfect sense. He also said “the Rays make a sacrifice today for another shot at tomorrow.” Who said today is over yet? Whatever you say, Jim.

And finally, Durham Bulls manager had this to say on Henry Wrigley.

Wrigley, a 25 year old first baseman and outfielder, has really impressed this year in 32 Double-A games and 64 Triple-A games, posting a .318/.370/.555 line with 31 doubles, 17 homers, and 69 RBI. He has hit .343 at Triple-A. Wrigley’s problem has always been his plate discipline, but his power is legitimate and we could see him in the big leagues in September.