Reviewing The Trade Deadline

By David Hill

The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and despite rumours involving several Rays’ players, the Rays stood pat on Tuesday afternoon.  Aside from the acquisition of Ryan Roberts on July 24, the Rays appeared content to wait for their team to get healthy and attempt to make a run in September.

Of course, when reviewing the Rays lack of movement at the deadline, it is important to note their weaknesses – specifically catcher and shortstop against what players were moved. While the acquisition of Roberts certainly helps with overall depth, it did little to solve the two most glaring weaknesses on the roster.

Yet, who was available? At shortstop, Marco Scutaro and Hanley Ramirez were both traded. Scutaro would have fit as a rental player, and Ramirez is not far removed from being an MVP caliber player at short. However, Ramirez’s salary put him far beyond Tampa’s price range.

For catchers, it was pretty much the same with few being on the move. Geovany Soto was sent to Texas, causing Yorvit Torreabla to be designated for assignment. George Kottaras, while not a starter, was traded to Oakland. Soto, while easily the best of the trio, is hardly a sure thing either. He has had two solid seasons in 2008 and 2010, but has been awful in 2009, 2011, and thus far this year.

The Rays also resisted the temptations, if there were truly any, to move either James Shields or Wade Davis, both of which had been heavily involved in trade rumours over the past few weeks. Despite reported interest from several teams, the Rays kept their pitching staff, a strength all season, intact for a playoff run.

All in all, given what was available at the deadline, the Rays likely did the right thing by not making a move. It may not be exciting, but it was probably for the best.