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RCG Mailbag: Have Tampa Bay Rays Improved Their Future This Offseason?

By Robbie Knopf
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Jul 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso (5) follows through for a two-run double against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

1/10/14: Tampa Bay Rays trade 2B/OF Ben Zobrist and SS Yunel Escobar to the Oakland Athletics for DH/C John Jaso, SS Daniel Robertson, OF Boog Powell, and $1.5 million.

This the only trade where the Rays clearly lost something from their 2015 effort. It’s nice that guys like Souza and Nick Franklin will have more opportunities now, but Zobrist is a tremendous player and Escobar at least has a decent chance of rebounding next season.

At the very least, though, Jaso makes up some of the value because he improves the Rays’ DH situation against right-handed pitching by a decent margin. The Rays will not be quite as good next season because of this deal, but just how much they lost may be smaller than we would think.

This is also the lone deal where the Rays’ future was improved by a significant amount. Robertson is an excellent shortstop prospect and has the ability to be a core player for the Rays beginning at some point in 2016. Powell, meanwhile, is a decent outfield prospect who also has the ability to make an impact.

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