One of the newest ways that we have to connect to fans through the Fansided network has been the Fancred app. After some interactions with followers and commenters there, I inquired as to whether or not anyone had any questions on the Rays, and received some excellent responses. This question comes from Evan Fingert, who had a question about possible trade deadline activity.
"What players are the Rays likely to go after at the trade deadline?"
The thing to look for with the Rays is to see where they have any potential weaknesses. Right now, their offense has been surprisingly strong, and they have a very solid bench. The starting rotation has gotten better with the return of David Price and Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore finding themselves once again after a rough stretch. The bullpen has solidified with the addition of Alex Torres, and the Rays have been on a roll as of late.
Right now, the biggest weakness for the Rays has been the back of the rotation. Roberto Hernandez is, let’s face it, Roberto Hernandez. He eats innings, keeps the bullpen from being overly exerted, and can be anywhere from generally average to close your eyes awful. Chris Archer has been decent as he acclimates to being a major league starter, but still has issues with inconsistency. If one of those pitchers is the fifth starter, then that is solid. However, relying upon both in the midst of a playoff push may not be the best option.
What the Rays decide to do with the rotation may well depend on what happens with Alex Cobb, and if he is able to return. Right now, he is hoping to be pitching again within a month. He threw off a mound for the second time before Monday night’s game against the Twins, and has said that his vertigo symptoms have been much better over the past couple of days.
If Cobb is able to return, then the Rays actually may not do much at the deadline, if anything at all. However, if he has a setback or his timetable to pitch in the majors leaves him with a return date of late August to September, then the Rays may look to add a back of the rotation starter that could be a bit more reliable than Hernandez or Archer. With that in mind, some possible options that the Rays may look at could end up being pitchers like Erik Bedard or Ted Lilly – if he can come back healthy. Essentially, the Rays are likely to look a future free agents, and players that may not command a lot in return.
In short, the Rays biggest moves likely came from internal sources, such as the callup of Wil Myers and the return of Price from the disabled list. In all likelihood may not be overly active at the deadline, barring another injury to their pitching staff.
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