Rays Trade Rumors: Jake McGee Market Heats Up


The Rays have some enviable pieces in the pen to use in order to improve their overall outlook for 2016 and beyond. Jake McGee is one of those pieces and word is his market is heating up.

Trade conversations don’t guarantee anything, but often where there’s smoke, there’s fire. My thoughts in reading the tweet from Jon Morosi is that it’s awfully coincidental that it happened as the Cubs likely knew they were getting their man in Jason Heyward who just accepted a contract offer from them. That makes them my overall favourite trade partners for the Rays in dealing McGee, but I’ll take a look at a half-dozen options in order of likeliness to happen.

Chicago Cubs

The talk of the winter meetings centred around these two teams getting into an agreement including Javier Baez and possibly Alex Cobb. I still believe that more than any other move, this is the one the Rays are looking to complete. With their patience and wish to look over the deal and all of its particulars before making it happen, I believe the pieces were in place at the winter meetings and the decisions were kept for post-sober thought.

St-Louis Cardinals

What better way to get back at the organization that took away two of their free agent targets than by taking away the pen and pitching options they were targeting from the Rays. Not only would they cost much less than what the Cubs paid for the older John Lackey, but improving their rotation and pen at minimal financial cost would allow them to target other free agents (Alex Gordon and Johnny Cueto) and make them a better team overall.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Not only is ex-Rays GM Andrew Friedman in charge in LA, but they just missed out on landing Aroldis Chapman and are now hungry to shore up the back-end of their pen asap. Simultaneously, they’ve lost out on any fronts on the SP FA market and could be willing to broaden a deal to include a SP. Not sure no the Rays returns in this case, but the Dodgers have some very intriguing MLB ready prospects.

 New York Mets

Everyone talks about how the Mets have a ton of great pitching, but most of it applies to the starters. Their pen depth is pretty thin and they’d do well to add some depth to it. In this case, the returns seem to point to some of the MLB ready talent the Mets have but nothing jumps out as matching in trade.

Washington Nationals

What seemed to be a move to shore up their closer options last year really blew up in their faces when they acquired Jonathan Papelbon. If they’re going to make it through 2016 unscathed, they may have to release him outright or trade him to whoever will take him. In either case, adding a reliever of McGee’s calibre would go a long way to rebuilding their pen strength.

Los Angeles Angels

Things are only getting tighter in the A.L. West as teams continue to improve their makeup. The Angels would do well to add someone to their questionable pen that would compliment Huston Street. Not sure exactly what returns the Rays would get in this instance, which is why they’re ranked lower than the others on this list.

Seemingly Out

Houston Astros

Added potential closer Ken Giles and brought back LHP Tony Sipp, which seems to take them out of the running. They could want to have 2 lefty options, but at this point, they may not want to pay the price the Rays would be looking for in a deal.

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The Rays trade talks for Jake McGee may be heating up but there are still too many suitors to put our focus on just one team. While the Cubs remain the favourites, you can see from the list we have above that there are plenty of teams in need. Hopefully the Rays can maximize the value McGee holds and get the best return available if they do decide to trade him, which still isn’t a guarantee.